Tim Tebow could be back on the field for the upcoming 2021 NFL season. More than five years after he last played in a preseason game, the 33-year-old could be one step closer to a return.
Tebow, who retired from baseball this spring, is attempting a football comeback. He last played for the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, appearing in three preseason games with the Philadelphia Eagles. The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, who hasn’t played in a regular-season game since 2012, is training for a position switch.
Hours before the 2021 NFL Draft, reports surfaced that Tebow worked out at tight end for the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was one of the thinnest positions on Jacksonville’s depth chart, with new head coach Urban Meyer looking for more versatility and athleticism at the position.
Jaguars’ co-owner and chief football strategy officer Tony Khan recently provided insight on the workout, including some perspective from Meyer that might hint at Tebow’s odds of returning to the gridiron.
“Obviously, Urban knows Tim really well and Tim has got a great history of winning. Urban really believes he can help us, and I think it makes a lot of sense. And it’s a position where we need to get better.”Jacksonville Jaguars’ chief football strategy officer Tony Khan, via Bleacher Report
It’s incredibly rare for players to attempt a comeback after five years away from the game. But Tebow kept himself busy during that time, pursuing his dream of playing in MLB> He made his way up to the Triple-A level, struggling mightily, so he should be in great shape as he attempts this NFL return.
Will Tim Tebow play for the Jaguars?
Tight end was considered one of the Jaguars’ biggest needs entering the NFL Draft. They did a nice job using their draft capital to put more weapons around Trevor Lawrence. However, Meyer didn’t draft a tight end until selecting Ohio State’s Luke Farrell with a fifth-round pick.
Heading into the summer, the Jaguars’ depth chart at tight end doesn’t inspire much confidence. Chris Manhertz is a situational player, Farrell doesn’t profile as a significant contributor and the options behind them (Tyler Davis, Ben Ellefson, James O’Shaugnessy) aren’t locks to make the 53-man roster.
If there’s any NFL team willing to give Tebow a shot to play tight end, it will be the Jaguars. He starred for Meyer’s Florida Gators, becoming one of the best college football programs in recent memory. The iconic duo are close friends and will be neighbors in Jacksonville.
Transitioning to tight end won’t be busy. Tebow ran a 4.71 40-yard dash time at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine. More than a decade later, set to turn 34 in August, it’s a safe bet to assume plenty of that speed is gone. Another cause for concern, Tebow has never caught a pass.
- Tim Tebow stats (college and NFL): One target, zero catches across 90 games at Florida and in the NFL
There is one recent success story of a former NFL quarterback converting successfully to tight end. Logan Thomas, who starred at Virginia Tech and started his pro career as a quarterback, is the starting tight end for the Washington Football Team. But he is taller (6-foot-6 vs. 6-foot-3), faster (4.61 40-yard dash) and younger (29) than Tebow.
The Jaguars aren’t going to have any trouble drawing in fans now that they have Lawrence. Given how much authority Meyer has over roster decisions, it still wouldn’t be a surprise if he signs Tim Tebow.