COMMENTARY | Tim Tebow might play football in New York this year, but if he does it will be in a New England Patriots' uniform. The former Jets' backup quarterback and utility player was signed by the Patriots, a move that will at least stir up conversation (if not plays on the football field).
No Major Shock
It is hard to be surprised by this move. While there was talk of Tebow's career being finished, or perhaps moving to the Arena Football League, the Patriots were always there lurking. New England made sense more than any other place as a Tebow destination, not because they have the most to gain but because they have the least to lose.
By waiting until the Jets released Tebow (rather than trading for him), the Patriots got him for a reported zero dollars guaranteed. More importantly, they have the one quarterback (Tom Brady) who can most easily diminish Tebow-related controversy.
That is not to say that there will not be fans calling for Tebow to start. I have no doubt that Tebow's most devout followers will want just that. But that crowd will be liliputian and not taken seriously. Brady will not have to deal with the sort of noise that Mark Sanchez dealt with.
Furthermore, the Patriots have the one coach (Bill Belichick) who more than any other has tamed his local media. Belichick will be able to handle the Tebow circus, not necessarily because of any action he will take, but because of actions he took in the past. He has established reputation, and the Boston media has more or less gotten used to receiving little information from him and being satisfied with it. Belichick's recent, extremely evasive comments regarding Tebow were more than expected.
A Sign of Desperation?
Clearly, the Patriots are a team that is set up to handle Tebow-mania without having to field the immense amount of media scrutiny that existed in New York. Yet James Walker of ESPN.com calls the move a sign of "desperation."
To understand where Walker is coming from, one must understand the situation quietly surrounding the Patriots' offense. Arguably more so than any other NFL team, the Patriots have relied on their offense to carry them since 2007. A perennially weak defense has been masked year after year by an overpowering offense, led by Tom Brady and a host of talented receivers.
This offseason has so far been a train wreck for the Patriots' offense. Their two best wide receivers (Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd) were lost. There was an expectation that the Patriots could handle this, because their two-pronged tight-end attack has been so formidable. Unfortunately, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez have both undergone offseason surgeries and are both question marks when it comes to health and reliability for the team.
Common sense says that Tebow will not take quarterback snaps away from Brady. Thus, his most likely contributions will come in skill roles, such as tight end or halfback. Walker argues that bringing in Tebow to fill that type of position is a desperate move to salvage some of their offense for another season. He adds, "To put it bluntly, New England simply is not good enough to win a Super Bowl this year."
Will Tebow sit quietly on the bench or be brought in to bolster the receiving corps? Or will he be used in an altogether different manner? Nobody knows at the moment.
Whether this is viewed as desperate or creative is all a matter of perspective.
Adam Waksman is a Yahoo! contributor in sports. He also covers the New York Jets for Bleacher Report, where he is a Featured Columnist and award-winning blogger.
You can follow Adam on Twitter here.
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