It’s Tebow Time in Florida, but this time it’s for the Jacksonville Jaguars and not the Florida Gators. It’s been a long time since Tim Tebow joined forces with Urban Meyer to dominate the collegiate football ranks, but the two are now back together in North Florida — Tebow having officially signed a one-year deal on Thursday to play tight end for the team. A longtime quarterback who had a short stint of glory with the Denver Broncos before the wheels fell off of his career at the position, Tebow was once proposed the idea of changing positions but instead opted not to and went on to later retire from the league entirely, then trying his hand at baseball with the New York Mets before retiring from that sport as well.
All it took for him to reconsider his NFL conversion, apparently was Meyer being hired in Jacksonville. And with the 2021 NFL Draft now in the rearview, the two are together again and Tebow has already reported to his first-ever practice with the Jaguars, donning his newly-assigned No. 85.
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There has been a ton of backlash for Meyer’s decision to sign Tebow out of retirement to play a position he’s never taken a single snap at in a game, and particularly with presumably more talented options available in both veteran and undrafted free agency. It’s a risk Meyer is willing to take though, and there’s no guarantee Tebow survives final roster cutdowns at the end of August. But the fact he’s being given this shot does reveal Meyer’s belief in the possibility of the conversion taking hold. It’ll be on Tebow to hit the ground running against five other tight ends on the roster who all have actual experience at playing the position — Chris Manhertz, Luke Farrell, Tyler Davis, James O’Shaughnessy and Ben Ellefson.
Of the group, Tebow isn’t the only one reuniting with Meyer. Farrell is the team’s rookie fifth-round pick out of Ohio State, and spent time being coached by Meyer before the latter retired from the collegiate ranks following the 2018 season after a controversial year with the school.
Tebow’s competition also extends to the contract on Manhertz, who signed a two-year, $6.65 million deal in free agency this offseason as well as young upstarts like Davis and Ellefson. It all begins with his first practice on Thursday, and all eyes are on how things go for him from this point forward.