Last year there were rumors swirling about Tim Tebow’s possible landing spot. Before ultimately signing with the Jets, the Patriots were once on the list of potential suitors. A friend even sent me a photo-shopped picture of Tebow in a Pats jersey.
- Disclaimer #1: I am a die-hard Patriots fan.
- Disclaimer #2: Almost to the same extent, I am not a Tim Tebow fan.
Last year, I knew there was no legitimacy to the claim, but I still felt uneasiness just having laid eyes on the image. When the news broke a few days ago that Tebow officially signed with the Patriots, I was forced to confront this image all over again. However, when I saw the image this time, my heart surprisingly didn’t wrench from within. I realized this roster addition had deeper implications and a different underlying purpose. Let’s take just a few moments to quickly analyze the issues surrounding Tim Tebow’s arrival. We’ll also cover what he could bring to the Patriots and, more importantly, to dynasty rosters.
Tebow’s Role in New England
I am surprised about the sheer number of headlines I’ve seen focusing on Tebow playing quarterback for New England. He has been very outspoken in refusing to change positions, but quarterback is the least needy aspect of the Patriots’ squad, and there is very little he could do to contribute in this area. Anyone who thinks head coach Bill Belichick will take Tom Brady out for anything other than kneeling in the fourth quarter is sorely mistaken. Rather, I believe New England has something different, and truly unique to offer Tebow. After all, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was in Denver when he drafted Tebow in 2010 before being fired at the conclusion of the season. He must still see some potential in Tebow, or perhaps he feels some responsibility for the player he selected and was then forced to leave behind.
Tebow may have been adamant about playing quarterback, but it’s no secret Belichick likes versatile players. Right now, the Patriots find themselves in a vulnerable position with star tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez recovering from injuries, and their status for the beginning of the season remains uncertain. Meanwhile, Belichick views Tebow as a hardworking player who could be used in a variety of offensive positions. There are plenty critiques on Tebow’s mechanics, but everyone will attest he is a competitor. Belichick respects that and can utilize his versatility.
Signing with the New England Patriots presents a unique situation combining these conflicting interests. I view this almost as a redshirt year from a quarterback perspective. McDaniels will have the chance to further develop the player he traded up to draft in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft, and in exchange for McDaniels’ tutoring sessions, Tebow can contribute in a variety of roles in a Belichick offense. Normally, Tebow might not accept this role, but he is being given an opportunity to work on his craft at a time when there is currently a deflated market for his services. In Tebow’s eyes, perhaps he can come out on the other end of this experience as a more refined player with a chance for a revival – or at the very least attempt to portray this image.
Will the Media Circus Follow?
Although Tebow carries a loyal fan base, the media brigade that follows is a legitimate concern for teams considering signing him. While this is unavoidable to some extent, Belichick is well known for his ability to control the media and is much respected for it. This could well benefit Tebow’s image, and shouldn’t have any negative effect on the Patriots’ organization.
There is no lock for Tebow to make the final roster. Belichick has been known to take a chance on veterans, though he also has shown no hesitation to cut the cord when things aren’t working out. Though I am not a Tebow believer, I can’t help but think Belichick will find ways for him to contribute and ultimately reserve a roster spot for him.
From a team perspective, I think this situation has a lot of interesting variables that make sense. However, I think this signing has little-to-no fantasy impact, even in dynasty leagues. Tebow could play an important role for the Patriots as a fill-in tight end, full back and even on special teams, but I just can’t fathom a scenario where he can contribute to your fantasy team in any consistent, or meaningful manner. Taking a step back as a developmental quarterback shouldn’t provide much hope, either. In truth, I think the jury is already out on Tebow, and I think the league as a whole voted unanimously he doesn’t fit the bill as an NFL quarterback. Tebow’s only chance to develop a significant role on a team (in reality or fantasy is to use this opportunity to transition to another position, prove he can function as a weapon and then later sign to a needy team where he can make an impact. The chances of that seem pretty slim.
What are some of your thoughts on his usage and subsequent fantasy impact?
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