Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, joining his fourth NFL team. He participated in his first offseason workout in the afternoon.
Tebow, 27, has not played in a game since 2012. He was signed by the New England Patriots during training camp in 2013 but did not make the team and sat out the 2014 season while serving in a new role as a college football analyst with the SEC Network.
His contract with ESPN included an out clause that allowed Tebow to pursue his NFL interests while under the network’s employ. As such, he was free to sign with an NFL team at any time he so desired and will be welcomed back to television once his career is over.
“We appreciate Tim’s contributions to the launch of SEC Network and wish him all the best as he pursues his NFL dream,” said John Wildhack, ESPN‘s executive vice president for programming and production. “Tim quickly established a tremendous rapport with everyone he worked with in front of and behind the camera. He has a tireless work ethic and a unique passion for football. Tim developed quickly into an excellent analyst. He has a home at ESPN when his playing career is done.”
Tebow will wear No. 11 for the Eagles as No. 5 (Donovan McNabb) and No. 15 (Steve Van Buren) are retired. His new jersey number was the same worn by former Gators and now-Eagles teammate Riley Cooper during his time at Florida; Cooper now dons No. 14 for Philadelphia.
He will compete for the Eagles’ third-string quarterback job after spending the better part of 18 months training in California with quarterback guru Tom House. The 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. He was never given an opportunity to succeed with the New York Jets, which acquired Tebow via trade with the Broncos.