Tim Tebow’s whirlwind Tuesday in New England

By Adam Silverstein
June 11, 2013

Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow officially became a member of the New England Patriots on Tuesday as he donned practice attire and participated in the first day of mandatory minicamp at the team’s facility.

From head coach Bill Belichick’s first press conference since the Tebow signing to the player’s minimal participation in practice on Tuesday, a bevy of news, notes, quotes and opinions have surfaced. Check out everything that happened on Tuesday.

The Paper / The Photo: (Left) Tebow was prominently featured on the back cover of Tuesday’s edition of the Boston Herald. (Right) Photographer Matt Stone captures Tebow identifying an open receiver during Tuesday’s practice.

The Contract: Tebow signed a two-year deal with the Patriots, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. OGGOA has learned that his deal is for $1.36 million with base salaries of $630,000 in 2013 and $730,000 in 2014. There are no guarantees or signing bonuses as part of Tebow’s contract, but Schefter also noted that there are playing time incentives available for 2014. Tebow’s deal makes him easy to cut, especially in the preseason before the rosters get cut to the final number of 53 players before Week 1.

Update – June 12: Tebow can also receive $25,000 as an offseason workout bonus in 2014. He has playing time incentives that could kick in during his second season with the team. Tebow would earn $500,000 if he is on field for 60 percent of his team’s snaps, $1 million for 70 percent, $1.5 million for 80 percent or $2 million for 80 percent and reaching the playoffs (or winning 10 games). The absolute maximum value of his contract is $3.385 million. ESPN first reported these additional details.


The Number: Tebow was listed as No. 5 on New England’s roster. He is back to wearing the number he donned in youth football and as a star at Nease High School rather than the No. 15 he wore while playing for Florida and with both the Denver Broncos and New York Jets. Patriots backup QB Ryan Mallett currently wears No. 15, which made it unavailable for Tebow.

The Practice: According to the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin, Tebow did not practice until the very end of Tuesday’s minicamp, going 4-for-7 in 11-on-11 work with fellow third-string players. His work will likely increase as he gets acclimated.

The Quote: Tebow spoke for a grand total of 37 seconds at the conclusion of practice, providing the media with a general statement before taking his leave.

“First and foremost, I just want to thank the Patriots for giving me an opportunity. I’m very thankful. It’s such an honor to be a Patriot and play for Coach Belichick and Coach [Josh] McDaniels and learn under Tom [Brady], be a part of this great franchise, a part of a very successful franchise. I’ve found that out first hand; I’ve lost to them several times. So, it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to working hard every single day, getting a lot better and learning under some great people. That’s all I got but thank you all so much and God bless. We’ll be talking more soon.”

The New Coach: Belichick “answered” 25 questions about Tebow, brushing off most of the inquiries and addressing the rest with short replies. Check out OGGOA’s transcript of Belichick’s media availability by clicking here.

The Bets: Online gambling website Bovada.lv released five separate Tebow-related prop bets on Tuesday. Will Tim Tebow make the Patriots 53-man Week 1 roster? (Yes -400 | No +250) Will Tim Tebow start a game as a quarterback for the Patriots in the 2013 regular season? (Yes +600 | No -1200) Will Tim Tebow throw a touchdown pass in the 2013 regular season? (Yes: +200 | No: -300) Tim Tebow total rushing and receiving touchdowns in the 2013 regular season (Over/Under 1.5) Will Tim Tebow attempt a pass in the 2013 regular season? (Yes: -300 | No +200)

The Skeptic: Despite the fact that the coach trashed his original report, which noted that Belichick “hated” Tebow as a football player, Yahoo! Sports columnist Mike Silver doubled down on his contention, saying he “stand[s] by my original assertion” and that a source called Belichick “so full of it,” noting the coach frequently bashed Tebow.

The GIF: The incomparable LSUFreek created this animation of Tebow’s resurrection starring Tebow as Jesus and Belichick as Mary Magdalene.

The Original: Former QB Doug Flutie, who spent eight years out of the NFL trying to earn a second opportunity in the league, understands exactly what Tebow is going through. Flutie also spent four years (spread out over two separate stints) with the Patriots. Here’s what Flutie had to say about Tebow on Tuesday: “I just don’t understand why there’s so much negatively toward Tim Tebow. The guy’s a great guy. He does everything right, everything he’s asked of. Whether he’s the most talented quarterback in the NFL doesn’t matter. I root for the guy.”

The Overlooked Teammate: Much is being made of how Tebow will fit in well with Belichick, McDaniels and Brady but few are discussing how Mallett fits into the equation. Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King explained:

With Mallett a strong No. 2 (for now) in New England, the Patriots can take the year to continue to develop Tebow. No pressure for him to play, unless Belichick wants to use him on the occasional two-point conversion try or on some spread four-wide short-yardage plays. (It’s not so incongruous to go spread on short-yardage anymore, especially if you have a 242-pound quarterback who could double as a short-yardage back.) If Belichick chooses, he could simply use the year as a developmental season for Tebow. Maybe he’s found something, maybe not. What does he have to lose? A 53rd roster spot?

The Old Coach: “I have a funny feeling there are going to be more questions about former players than there are about current players,” said New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan when opening his media availability on Tuesday. “It’s not a surprise to me that Tim would be picked up. Obviously, as I’ve said before, [he is] a tremendous young man, very competitive. I’m happy for him and look forward to competing against him. … It didn’t’ work out here. Obviously Tim had more success in Denver than he did here. … If they want to replace Brady with him, that’s fine.”

The Tutor: A fellow former Heisman Trophy winner, Chris Weinke has been working with Tebow for the last Month at IMG Academy, adjusting his throwing motion, and perhaps more importantly, his footwork. Weinke told USA Today on Tuesday that Tebow is “locked and loaded, ready to go” now that he has a new team. “Tim’s about as competitive a guy as you’re ever going to be around,” he said. “Tim didn’t spend any time talking about the Jets releasing him. But at the end of the day, he’s been humbled and he’s hungry. That’s good. He’ll go up to New England. And they’ll be pleased with the way he’s throwing the football. … The things we worked on down here are going to pay dividends in New England.”

The Other Owner: For some reason, New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch was asked about and chose to comment on Tebow signing with a team outside of his state and conferene. “I think it’s great that Tim Tebow’s going to be an NFL player,” he told the New York Post. “I think it’s really fantastic he’s going to be playing for a great owner and playing for a great coach. I think Bill will find a way to turn Tim into a huge asset. This is the well-deserved Act III in Tim Tebow’s NFL career.”

5 Comments

  1. Timmy T says:

    I just became a Steve Tisch fan. Classy comment, no doubt. Already a Silverstein fan. Thanks for feeding me my Timmy info, Adam.

  2. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Notice how happy Josh McDaniels looks in the photo with Tim…

  3. Ken (CA) says:

    Rex Ryan is truly a member of the sports Douche hall of fame. He couldn’t have been more snarky with that comment

    • Michael Jones says:

      Yeah, I thought the gratuitous “replace Brady with Tebow” comment was surprisingly mean-spirited and low class for Ryan, who usually works hard at hiding the fact that he’s a buffoon.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        I didn’t like his comments in general, but that comment was exactly what made me vote him to the sporting douche hall of fame, completely classless, and showed how much he disliked Tebow. The rest I could have lived with as coach speak, but as soon as I read that, changed the whole context of his earlier comments…

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