It’s actually happening:
So Tebow, who will be 34 this summer, and who has not taken an NFL snap since 2012 when he was 25, will be returning to the NFL to play for his former college coach, Urban Meyer, in Jacksonville.
Apparently Tebow and Meyer live next door to each other down there. And Tebow is originally from Jacksonville, it’s his hometown, it’s where he played high school football–it makes sense.
Look, things just worked out. No other team other than Urban Meyer’s was going to sign him. He does not get this opportunity without Urban Meyer being a head coach.
Do I think it’s going to work out? Probably not–he’s been out of football for 9 years and he’s 34. 34 is pretty damn old when it comes to the NFL. But, that said, his body hasn’t taken the beating of a 34-year-old NFL player, so he might have some left in the tank.
What really worries me is his conditioning and the fact that he hasn’t taken an NFL hit in 9 years. Maybe they signed him primarily to be a “locker room guy” and a culture guy. That’s my best guess. He knows Urban Meyer well, he knows how he operates, and he can be basically the intermediary between the locker room and the head coach.
But are players going to resent him for getting this chance because he’s in super tight with the coach? Possibly. He’s going to have to earn his teammates trust because a lot of them will probably look at him with a side-eye. A lot of guys will probably just look at him as a celebrity, not a real football player (remember he just got done trying to be a baseball player) and a guy who gets things handed to him because of who he is.
But NFL teams don’t just throw out roster spots willy-nilly. There’s only 53 of them. When you think of it in terms of 22 starters, plus a backup for each (3 QBs usually), that’s already 44 spots filled. Plus you have a kicker, a punter, a long-snapper, and some guys who only play special teams–there’s not a lot of wiggle room to just be handing out NFL roster spots purely because you like somebody and he’s a good dude.
So the Jags must believe Tebow can make them better.
My biggest knock on Tebow is that he didn’t switch to tight end earlier in his career. I’ve always thought he was extremely stubborn to not entertain the idea of switching to a different position. Nobody in the league believed he could play QB by 2012 except for Tebow himself, and his refusal to switch positions is why he’s been out of the league for 9 years.
But now he’s at the point where he probably has some regrets, and he knows he only has a few years left where he can potentially still be a professional athlete, so he wants to give it one last shot.
I think he should just go into coaching and see if he can get a role on the Jaguars staff and start working his way up the ranks. I think he’d be great as a coach.
But he wants to see if he can still play, so I respect it.
I’m pulling for the guy. I’d like to see him succeed. He’s a great person, and I think his presence in the NFL makes the league more interesting.
But still, 9 years is a very long time when it comes to pro sports.