Wed, Jun 12, 2013 - Page 19 News List

Tim Tebow to sign with New England Patriots: source

AP, FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts

Then-New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow is sacked by the New York Giants during their pre-season game in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Aug. 18 last year.

Photo: Reuters

A flop on Broadway, Tim Tebow is getting an audition in Beantown.

Whether he will perform well enough to make it to training camp with the New England Patriots next month is uncertain. At least he has a chance to prolong an NFL career that seemed at a dead end after he was released by the New York Jets in April.

A person familiar with the situation said on Monday that the quarterback would join the Patriots for the start of their three-day minicamp yesterday and sign with the team, pending a medical exam. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made.

ESPN first reported Tebow would sign with the Patriots.

Asked if Tebow had signed, Patriots spokesman Stacey James said on Monday: “I do not anticipate any additional transactions to announce tonight.”

Tebow would find himself in a much different, and almost certainly more comfortable, situation than he endured with the Jets, who rarely used him after signing him to great fanfare.

There is no chance that Tebow might supplant the starter, Tom Brady, as there was in New York, where Mark Sanchez was on shaky ground and eventually was benched last season for Greg McElroy.

The media frenzy will not be as intense with coach Bill Belichick’s bland news conferences, compared with Jets coach Rex Ryan’s colorful sessions, and Belichick’s firm grip on which players are allowed to speak with reporters and what they can say.

Tebow’s expectations may have been lowered after he was let go by Denver and New York. The Broncos traded him after the 2011-2012 season and the Jets released him less than 14 months later.

“I think they’ll take their time developing him,” said former Jets and Patriots offensive lineman Damien Woody, now an ESPN analyst. “The Patriots are one of those teams that like to develop guys, and they’ll even trade them if it works in their favor. In the more immediate future, having played in New England, I know one thing they value is versatility. They’re going to try to use Tebow in positions where they feel they can maximize his talent.”

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