Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow will sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports.
According to Glazer, the “Eagles [are] looking for a fourth [quarterback] for their offseason program, but it’s Tebow’s best chance to get back in the league.” Furthermore, Philadelphia is “convinced [Tebow has] improved a lot” after discussing his development with quarterback guru Tom House.
ESPN‘s Adam Schefter reports that Tebow and the Eagles will finalize an agreement on Monday, “the framework of which was put into place when he worked out for the team last month.” Signing him to a one-year contract Monday will allow Tebow to start working with Philadelphia at the start of its offseason workouts.
Just one month ago, Tebow, who did not play in the NFL last season after only being signed for training camp in 2013 by the New England Patriots, worked out for the Eagles after spending much of the 18 prior months in California being trained by House.
It was rumored that Tebow would consider participating in the inaugural NFL Veterans’ Combine but that did not come to fruition. Instead, his workout with Philadelphia was his only known opportunity this offseason.
The former Heisman Trophy winner’s accuracy has been his biggest issue at the professional level as he’s completed just 47.9 percent of his passes for an average of 6.7 yards per toss His 17-to-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio for his career is admirable, as are his 989 rushing yards on 197 carries (5.0 per attempt) with 12 rushing scores.
Tebow famously led the Denver Broncos to multiple come-from-behind victories in his first significant action as a starter in 2011. He also threw a game-winning touchdown pass in overtime during Denver’s Wild Card round playoff game against Pittsburgh that season and holds an 8-6 record as a starter.
After claiming that his agent fielded some calls from interested NFL teams last offseason, Tebow decided to take a job as an analyst with the SEC Network. He has an out clause in his contract that allows him to void his deal if he gets the opportunity to play professional football. Tebow spent most of 2014 working on television, also holding a stint with ABC‘s Good Morning America, though he also participated in various charitable efforts, as is his nature.
Tebow has maintained that he is in the best shape of his life and throwing the football better than ever before.
“I’m training every day and feel like I’m the best that I’ve ever been,” he told The Tennessean last June. “I still love it, love playing, talking about it, and I’m just excited about whatever the future holds. Who knows what could happen? But I’m excited about it, though.”
A creative offensive mind such as Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly will be able to effectively utilize a player such as Tebow perhaps outside the standard quarterback role. As it turns out, the Eagles also currently have Mark Sanchez on the roster as a backup quarterback; Sanchez and Tebow competed together with the New York Jets during Tebow’s final season as an NFL player in 2013.
Tebow will be vying for the No. 3 quarterback role despite being the fifth signal caller signed to Philadelphia’s training camp roster. Sam Bradford, whom Tebow beat head-to-head in the 2009 BCS National Championship, is expected to start for the Eagles. Sanchez should earn the No. 2 role out of training camp, but Tebow also has Matt Barkley and G.J. Kinne to contend with for the third-string job.
Philadelphia has long wanted to trade Barkley, according to multiple reports, but has yet to find the value they seek for his services. That opportunity could arise during the 2015 NFL Draft in two weeks. Some may diminish Tebow’s chances due to the crowded quarterback situation, but Barkley leaving (or being beaten out) and Tebow excelling past Kinne are certainly legitimate possibilities.
Tebow’s former Florida teammate – and yes, roommate – wide receiver Riley Cooper is currently on the Philadelphia roster, as are former Gators defensive back Jaylen Watkins and tight end Trey Burton.
Now all Tebow has to do is make the team.