BOSTON — The New England Patriots plan to sign quarterback Tim Tebow, ESPN reported Monday.
Tebow is expected to take part in the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp Tuesday, according to the report. He will work out as a quarterback, although there is no indication how the Patriots plan to use Tebow.
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was the Denver Broncos head coach when the Broncos drafted Tebow in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Just last month, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick strongly denied a published report that claimed he “hated” Tebow as a player.
Belichick, who is close friends with Tebow’s college coach Urban Meyer, was responding to a Yahoo! Sports report that claimed there was “no chance” the Patriots would sign the out-of-work quarterback. Citing a source, that report said Belichick “hated” Tebow as a player.
“I wouldn’t get into the probability of us pursuing any free agent,” Belichick said at the time, breaking form in entertaining any conversation about a player not under contract with the Patriots. “Every single player has strengths and weaknesses but regardless of that, for anyone to have represented that is the way I feel about Tim Tebow is completely untrue, baseless and irresponsible. It is unfortunate that something so inaccurate was reported.”
Belichick covets what he has described as tough, smart, versatile football players.
Tebow’s last NFL start came while he was with the Broncos in a lopsided playoff loss in Foxborough to the Patriots following the 2011 season.
Tebow, 25, was released by the New York Jets in April following a season as a backup to Mark Sanchez.
He played in 12 games for the Jets last season and completed 6 of 8 passes for 39 yards.
Tebow had a 7-4 record in 11 regular-season starts for the Broncos in 2011, completing 46.5 percent of his passes and rushing for 660 yards.
The Broncos beat Pittsburgh in a first-round playoff game that season when Tebow threw a game-winning touchdown pass in overtime. Denver lost in the next round to New England 45-10, when Tebow completed just 9 of 26 passes and rushed for 13 yards.