Florida star Tim Tebow signs with Jaguars, making NFL return alongside coach Urban Meyer

By Adam Silverstein
May 20, 2021
Florida star Tim Tebow signs with Jaguars, making NFL return alongside coach Urban Meyer
Football

Image Credit: ESPN Images

Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow is officially back in the NFL. Tebow has signed a one-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, reuniting with head coach Urban Meyer for the first time since the 2009 college football season and returning to the NFL for the first time since 2015.

Though he has not played in a regular-season NFL game since 2012 and was last on a preseason roster in 2015, Tebow recently tried out for the Jaguars as a tight end and will formally play that position for the first time as he looks to jump start his professional football career.

Nothing is guaranteed despite Tebow, 33, receiving this opportunity. Though Jacksonville is shallow at tight end, Tebow must win a job in training camp and through the preseason to earn a spot on the 2021 regular-season roster. It is likely that this signing is just as much about setting a tone for the Jaguars’ locker room — with Meyer beginning his first foray in the NFL — as it is giving Tebow an opportunity to play football again.

“I want to thank the Jaguars for the opportunity to compete and earn the chance to be part of this team. I know it will be a challenge, but it is a challenge I will embrace,” Tebow said in a statement released by the franchise. “I am dedicated to taking the direction of our coaching staff and learning from my teammates. I appreciate everyone’s support as I embark on this new journey.”

Tebow long resisted a change of position, which some believe kept him from finding a spot in the NFL even as there was debate about whether he got a fair enough opportunity at quarterback. Meyer long supported Tebow remaining a quarterback, believing that he could play the position in the NFL. Now, with Meyer leading Jacksonville, opportunity has arisen for Tebow to find his way back into the league.

The Jags, of course, are Tebow’s hometown team. When it was clear that Denver Broncos president John Elway was dead-set on trading Tebow following the 2011 season, Tebow reportedly chose a trade to the New York Jets over Jacksonville despite the Jags having interest in his services. At the time, it was believed that decision was made due to the New York media market.

Tebow only spent one season with the Jets before being released. He was signed by the New England Patriots in the offseason and played in two preseason games before being cut and transitioning to a broadcasting career with the SEC Network. He did get another opportunity with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015 and played four preseason games but was released by the team prior to the start of the regular season.

Tebow had been a member of the New York Mets farm system since 2016 as he attempted to switch careers and find a spot in Major League Baseball. He was never called up to the majors and retired from baseball on Feb. 17 despite being named to the Mets spring training roster.

It was reported last month that the home the Meyer purchased upon his move to Jacksonville is just three doors down from Tebow’s residence.

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