Jacksonville's favorite son — former Nease quarterback, turned Heisman Trophy Winner and National Champion, turned NFL playoff quarterback (?!), turned minor league baseball player — Tim Tebow is about to attempt another transformation.
He's going to sign a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars to play tight end — the position everyone begged him to try nearly a decade ago — for his former head coach Urban Meyer. This according to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero on NFL Media, who say the deal could be done "in the next week or so."
No, this is not a drill.
But what should we make of this headline-grabbing roster move by the Jaguars? Is it a PR stunt? After all, fans wore customized Tim Tebow Jags jerseys in the stands even after the Broncos drafted him in the first round.
While the demand for the Jaguars to acquire Tim Tebow, who has been playing baseball since 2016, has never been lower, Urban Meyer and the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to give him a shot.
Meyer and Tebow enjoyed many a Saturday together in Gainesville, where they led the Gators to two national titles during their four years together.
But is Tebow really the answer for the Jaguars at tight end? Likely not. After all, he's 33 years old and hasn't played football in half a decade.
But I don't see this as some grand marketing plan by the Jaguars to get more butts in seats this fall. No, Trevor Lawrence can do that just fine all by himself.
Instead, this appears to be a first-time NFL head coach attempting to surround himself with as many familiar — and likeminded — faces as possible. To build an organization and roster that meet his exact specifications.
Will it matter if Tim Tebow succeeds or fails as a tight end in Jacksonville? Likely not. But Meyer's desire to cultivate a culture in Duval County might not be in the best interest of the roster's overall health.
Instead of landing one of two Pro-Bowl caliber tight ends available in free agency this offseason, or drafting a potential receiving threat at tight end, Meyer and GM Trent Baalke traded away the only tight end on the roster with an ounce of potential as a receiver for a conditional seventh-round pick. They then signed a notable blocker at the position and drafted another blocking tight end that Meyer recruited to Ohio State. Now Meyer and Baalke will sign someone who hasn't played football in over a half-decade and has never caught an NFL pass.
The Jaguars missed out on Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith this spring, despite having interest in both players. It's not as if the team was in any way strapped for cash to outbid the Patriots for one of these two legitimate pass-catching threats. And while Henry and Smith were by far the two most attractive options, the free agent cupboard was not bare after the pair signed with New England.
And the Jaguars had many opportunities throughout the final two days of the draft to take some swings at tight ends with receiving chops. At the very least, they could have selected Brevin Jordan at 145 instead of Luke Farrell. Jordan has a chance to make an impact as a move tight end in this league, where Farrell will play second fiddle to Chris Manhertz as an extension of the offensive line.
And the possibility of Zach Ertz being released by the Eagles still exists. David Njoku or Hayden Hurst could likely be had for a day three draft pick or two.
Now, it is POSSIBLE (I guess) that Tebow works out as a role-playing tight end in Duval. But even if he does, how does the Jaguars' process to get to this point make any sense at all? This type of move appears desperate; whether it's for attention or talent, I'm not sure. But the decisions made within the confines of TIAA Bank Field this offseason that led to this point are bewildering.
Overall, the Jaguars have done well for themselves this offseason. Many of the additions made in free agency and the draft have bolstered this roster around Trevor Lawrence. And Urban Meyer is ready to release his brand of speed on the NFL this fall. Still, I can't help but question the Jaguars' path to signing Tim Tebow, even if it will be surreal to see the Jacksonville native don the black and teal. Can you imagine if Trevor Lawrence and Tim Tebow connect for a score this fall?
What happens to a dream deferred?
Jacksonville's fantasy of Tim Tebow in a Jaguars' uniform is about to become a reality. Urban Meyer's desire to once again coach his star pupil will be realized.
Will it explode?
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