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AP Source: Tebow to sign with Patriots PDF Print E-mail
Monday, June 10, 2013 10:12 PM

The Associated Press


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tim Tebow may still have a future in the NFL after all.

The New England Patriots seem to think so and plan to sign him today if he passes a physical.

He won’t be a starting quarterback, of course, with Tom Brady on hand in Foxborough. But certainly he’s an intriguing reclamation project — yet another chance for coach Bill Belichick to torture the New York Jets, who failed to find a role for Tebow last season.

And that could make for quite a Boston Tea-bow Party.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Monday that Tebow will join the Patriots’ minicamp today and sign with the team, pending the medical exam. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made. Even when Tebow signs, there is no guarantee he will play for the Patriots.

ESPN first reported that Tebow would sign with New England.

Former Broncos’ general manager Ted Sundquist sees the logic in the move.

“If you can find a club that’s mature enough to handle it as an organization, then you’re going to find the right spot for him,” Sundquist said. “What I mean by that is all the media mania and that sort of thing. The club says, ‘Look, this is the reason we’re bringing him on. We feel he can bring X, Y, Z and A, B, C to the table.’ Explain it to Tim, explain it to the media, explain it to your fan base and explain it to your organization.”

That description seems to fit New England perfectly.

One of the NFL’s most polarizing players, Tebow spent a lost season in 2012 with the New York Jets, playing sparingly behind struggling starter Mark Sanchez. Some fans thought he got a raw deal and deserved more of a chance; others thought he lacked the skills to be a pro quarterback. He was released in April with barely a shrug — hardly the ending most Jets’ fans envisioned considering his super-hyped welcome to the Big Apple.

Tebow won two national titles at Florida and was a first-round draft pick in 2010 by Denver. As a rookie, Tebow threw just 82 passes in nine games, starting three. But in 2011, he started 11 games, throwing for 12 touchdowns and six interceptions, and took the Broncos to a wild-card win over Pittsburgh before an AFC divisional playoff loss to New England, 45-10.

Despite the Broncos’ playoff run, he was traded to New York the following offseason when Denver signed Peyton Manning. Tebow threw only eight passes for the Jets, completing six, ran 32 times for 102 yards and was used mostly to protect the punter.

“Unfortunately,” coach Rex Ryan wrote in a statement when Tebow was released, “things did not work out the way we all had hoped.”

The Patriots have Ryan Mallett as the backup to Brady; they released QB Mike Kafka on Monday.

Asked if Tebow had signed, Patriots spokesman Stacey James answered, “I do not anticipate any additional transactions to announce tonight.”

Tebow’s NFL career appeared over when the Jets couldn’t trade him at draft time and wound up cutting the left-handed quarterback, who won the 2007 Heisman Trophy. But now he is headed to New England, where the man who drafted him as coach of the Broncos, Josh McDaniels, is an offensive assistant under Belichick.

And apart from winning Super Bowls, Belichick likes nothing better than sticking it to the Jets. He’s had a running feud with Ryan for nearly four seasons, in part because Ryan once said he wasn’t hired to kiss Belichick’s rings.

Belichick was Jets coach for one day in 2000, infamously resigning with a hand-written note. He soon joined New England and has been regularly beating the Jets for more than a decade.

Revitalizing Tebow’s career would be another big step toward humiliating New England’s archrival.

Tebow has been criticized for his throwing motion but has said he wants to play quarterback, not switch positions. Still, the Patriots might need help at tight end after Rob Gronkowski underwent a fourth operation for a broken forearm and faces back surgery. At 6-3 and 236 pounds, Tebow has the size to play that spot.

Belichick values versatility in his players, having used wide receivers Troy Brown, Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater at defensive back when injuries hit that position.

The media circus that surrounded Tebow in Denver and with the Jets also could be minimized by Belichick, who keeps a tight lid on players’ interactions with reporters.

NOTES: Tebow would be the latest in a line of reclamation projects undertaken by Belichick. Here’s a look at some that worked and some that didn’t:

Corey Dillon, RB — He had a reputation as a malcontent with the Cincinnati Bengals before being traded to the Patriots in April 2004. He led them in rushing the next three seasons and was part of the team that won the Super Bowl in the 2004 season. He was released in March 2007.

Wes Welker, WR — Undrafted out of Texas Tech in 2004, he had just 96 receptions in his first three NFL seasons. The Patriots obtained him in a trade with the Miami Dolphins in March 2007 and he led the NFL over the next six seasons with 672 receptions before signing as a free agent with the Denver Broncos after last season.

Randy Moss, WR — One of the NFL’s best receivers from 1998-2004 with the Minnesota Vikings, Moss totaled just 102 receptions the next two seasons with the Oakland Raiders and was disgruntled. He was traded to the Patriots where he had 98 catches and set an NFL record with 23 touchdown receptions in 2007 before they dealt him to Minnesota after the fourth game in 2010.

Danny Woodhead, RB — After having just 15 carries and eight receptions with the New York Jets from 2008-10, he was released and then signed by the Patriots after the first game of the 2010 season. He was a reliable backup for three seasons, rushing 250 times for 1,199 yards and catching 92 passes for 982 yards. He signed with the San Diego Chargers after last season as a free agent.

Chad Johnson, WR — He caught at least 67 passes in eight of his 10 seasons with the Bengals, who traded him to the Patriots in July 2011, when he went by the name of Chad Ochocinco. But he had trouble learning the offensive system and had just 15 receptions in his only season with New England.

Albert Haynesworth, DT — He signed with the Patriots on July 28, 2011, the same day as Ochocinco, but made just two tackles in six games before they cut him. They had obtained him from the Washington Redskins, where he feuded with coach Mike Shanahan and needed 10 days to pass the conditioning test in training camp in 2010.

Aqib Talib, CB — He upgraded the Patriots secondary when they obtained him from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Nov. 1. He had two NFL suspensions and a fight with a fellow Tampa Bay draftee at a rookie symposium. In May 2011, he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon but that was dropped last June 18. The Patriots re-signed him to a 1-year contract in the offseason.

’Pacman’ Jones arrested

CINCINNATI — Court documents show Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones has been arrested and jailed on an assault charge after police said he tried to hurt a woman.

A police complaint says Jones is accused of striking the Cincinnati woman shortly before midnight June 5. The police report lists the injury as apparently minor.

Jones was arrested Monday. A message left for his agent hasn’t been returned.

Court documents show Jones was released on his own recognizance with his arraignment on the misdemeanor charge scheduled today.

It’s not the first time Jones has been in trouble.

He pleaded guilty in January 2012 to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. He had been accused of shouting profanities and trying to pull away as police arrested him at a Cincinnati bar months earlier.

Rear slap gets ex-NFL star C. Johnson 30 days jail

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Former NFL star Chad Johnson was sentenced Monday to 30 days in jail for a probation violation in a domestic violence case by a judge who angrily rejected a no-jail plea deal after Johnson playfully slapped his attorney on the backside in court.

Johnson, known as Chad Ochocinco for his jersey number in Spanish during his playing days, had reached a deal with prosecutors calling for community service and counseling instead of jail. Broward County Circuit Judge Kathleen McHugh said she would tack on an additional 3-months’ probation because Johnson had failed to meet with his probation officer during three previous months.

It was all set until Johnson, when asked by McHugh if he was satisfied with his lawyer Adam Swickle, gave the attorney a light swat on the rear — as football players routinely do to each other on the field. The courtroom erupted in laughter and at that McHugh said she wouldn’t accept the deal.

“I don’t know that you’re taking this whole thing seriously. I just saw you slap your attorney on the backside. Is there something funny about this?” McHugh asked, slapping the plea deal document down on her desk. “The whole courtroom was laughing. I’m not going to accept these plea negotiations. This isn’t a joke.”

Johnson, 35, tried to apologize and insisted he meant no disrespect. Johnson was on probation after pleading no contest to head-butting his then-wife, TV reality star Evelyn Lozada, during an altercation last August. She quickly filed for divorce after barely a month of marriage and Johnson, a 6-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, was immediately released by the Miami Dolphins. He didn’t play at all last season.

“This is your courtroom. I have no intent to make this a joke. It’s not funny,” Johnson told the judge. “My life is in a shambles right now and I try my best to laugh and keep a smile on my face.”

But McHugh, who could have given Johnson up to a year in jail, was not moved.

“It’s not the first time he’s behaved that way in my courtroom,” she explained.

Johnson then was handcuffed and hauled away to jail. Swickle declined comment on whether he would ask the judge to reduce her sentence.

Hours later, Johnson sent out a tweet on his verified Twitter account: “Love me through the good and the bad because I’m gone love you regardless ... See you in 30.”

Johnson has been undergoing therapy aimed at helping people involved in domestic violence but has not signed with another NFL team. He said in court Monday he hoped that would change in the upcoming football season but now faces another setback.

Johnson, whose best playing days were with the Bengals, caught 766 passes for more than 11,000 yards and 67 touchdowns during his career.

Last Updated on Monday, June 10, 2013 10:35 PM

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