In what has already been a noteworthy and historic offseason for the Jacksonville Jaguars, things are about to take another captivating turn thanks to the Jaguars' latest last-ditch effort to provide a spark at tight end.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, the Jaguars are expected to sign former NFL quarterback and New York Mets minor league prospect Tim Tebow as a tight end.
After rumors have raged for weeks about the Jaguars signing the Florida Gators and Denver Broncos quarterbacks to switch positions (and sports) and play tight end, it appears the Jaguars have taken another step closer to bringing the former Heisman Trophy winner to Duval.
Tebow, of course, was a star collegiate player under Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer at the University of Florida. But the 33-year-old hasn't taken a snap in the NFL since 2012 and it is anyone's guess whether he can make the 53-man roster as a tight end, let alone make an impact during the regular season.
“Tim and I’ve talked about, when he was a quarterback in the NFL that was a big topic. I was so busy I didn’t give him the time. ‘What do you think? What do you think?’ and I didn’t know, I was too busy to even think it through. I know playing a position in the National Football League without — that’s a long shot, this is years ago," Meyer said on May 1.
"How did it happen this time? We had a conversation. He worked out with our tight ends coach, I stopped by, did not stay for the whole workout. Then our focus went to the NFL Draft. We’re going to revisit here in the near future. That’s how that all happened.”
Tebow was a first-round selection (No. 25 overall) for the Broncos in 2010. Before then, he was a star collegiate quarterback who set records, won championships, and notched countless awards during his years under former Gators head coach Urban Meyer.
Tebow last appeared in a regular season NFL game on Dec. 30, 2012, a game in which he played one offensive snap for the New York Jets. He played two years for the Broncos, appearing in 23 games and starting 14. He appeared in 12 games with the Jets and started two. He also had short stints with the Eagles and Patriots but never made the regular season roster with either.
Tebow spent five years in the Mets' minor league program before announcing his retirement on February 17, a month after Meyer had taken the Jaguars' head coaching position.
Now, Tebow looks like he will be the Jaguars' next attempt to fix a tight end position that Meyer has already said concerns him.
The only tight ends on Jacksonville's roster currently are Chris Manhertz (12 career catches), James O'Shaughnessy (88 career catches), Tyler Davis (zero career catches), and Ben Ellefson (one career catch), along with fifth-round rookie selection Luke Farrell. The Jaguars also traded former third-round tight end Josh Oliver to the Baltimore Ravens in March for a conditional 2022 seventh-round draft pick.
"Concerned. There’s some great quality, quantity wasn’t there in the draft this year, and that’s a concern right now. That’s a concern right now," Meyer said following the draft.
"That’s the one area that I feel like — we felt the same about defensive tackle — we just didn’t quite hit that and then we got Jay [Tufele], when we picked him, the tight end position — you’re staring at that board and that horizontal piece. We just didn’t hit that today.”
As the Jaguars continue to look for answers at tight end, Meyer is turning to a familiar friend. It remains to be seen if the Jaguars are done looking for options at the position, but as of now it appears their sights are strictly on Tebow.