In a move that only Bill Belichick has shown the propensity to make over the last few years (Chad Ochocinco, Albert Haynesworth, Randy Moss), the New England Patriots have signed QB Tim Tebow today, according to Ed Werder of ESPN. Tebow is expected to report to mini camp tomorrow (Tuesday).
The burning question that’s on everyone’s minds: Can Tebow be a fantasy factor for the upcoming season? The simple, straight-forward answer is No. The Patriots QB situation is set in stone, with Tom Brady not only a future hall-of-famer, but also under contract for the next 5 years. And with up-and-comer Ryan Mallett entrenched as the backup QB, there really isn’t much fantasy value for a QB3 on a team with an already potent offense.
BUT, we are talking Belichick here, who is the master of disguise and seeing potential in a situation that isn’t always obvious to the rest of us. If the idea is for Tebow to sit on the bench, be a change of pace QB running the option, and contributing on special teams at times, then he really doesn’t have fantasy value. However, if Tebow has recently had a change of heart about his preference to change positions, this move actually makes some sense.
With the Patriots’ TE situation in flux (Rob Gronkowski had his 5 off-season surgeries, Aaron Hernandez not playing a full season), Tebow could stand to be a nice stop gap along with Jake Ballard due to his size (6-3, 24olbs) and bruising running style. In addition, Tebow could potentially be a goal line option QB or just line up in the backfield and take the ball directly from the QB. Don’t forget, Tebow was drafted by Josh McDaniels in Denver, so he has a ton of familiarity with Tebow and would be the “ideal” guy to help implement him into the Pats offensive scheme.
Now, before we get ahead of ourselves, the previous few paragraphs could all be a Patriots fan trying to convince myself that this move actually moves the needle and could be a beacon of change in the upcoming Patriots season. At the end of the day, it’s probably a meaningless move that has no fantasy effect and will have otherwise been swept under the rug had the prodigal son not been involved. But don’t put anything past Bill Belichick and his ability to control media storms and keep this from becoming a distraction.
A few months ago, who would have thought that Tebow’s NFL career may not be over just yet.