The Tim Tebow experiment in Jacksonville didn’t last long.
The former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback turned sports broadcaster turned minor league baseball player turned long-shot NFL tight end project was cut on Tuesday, after just a single preseason game.
The 34-year-old’s football career is presumably over now. This attempt was unlikely to result in a regular-season roster spot. Tebow was the kind of out-of-the-box training camp invite that teams occasionally offer to only rarely see pan out.
In this case, the opportunity came courtesy of Tebow’s old college coach, Urban Meyer. They won two national titles together at the University of Florida, but that was multiple positions and sports ago.
Tebow was always more of a runner and leader than a traditional pocket or even dual-threat quarterback. Denver picked him in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft and he had a brief run of success — including winning a playoff game — but was gone after just two years.
He hung on for a floundering season with the New York Jets and then made camp appearances with New England and Philadelphia. He then gave up on football because he refused at the time to switch positions. Tebow said he loved playing quarterback, not football, and not even Bill Belichick could convince him to try something different.
Instead, Tebow, who remains popular to many in part due to his outspoken Christian faith, tried a baseball career. He played four seasons of minor league ball for the New York Mets, but capped out with a .163 batting average in Triple-A.
Then Meyer got hired in Jacksonville last offseason and Tebow bulked up and tried to become a tight end/H-back hybrid. The odds of such a position change at his age working were low. Even at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Tebow wasn’t physical enough for the position and the skills aren’t easy to master overnight.
An uneven performance in the Jags' preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns apparently sealed the deal.
Tebow will no doubt remain a cultural touchstone. His camp invite alone inspired huge reactions that were both positive and negative. His getting cut will no doubt do the same.
Either way, this looks like the end of Tebow the professional football player.
Maybe he could have successfully switched positions a decade ago. By 2021, there was just no chance.
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