Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Tim Tebow reportedly will sign 1-year contract with Jacksonville Jaguars

Not even three months ago, just days after receiving an invite to the New York Mets’ spring training for the fifth year in a row, Tim Tebow announced that he is retiring from baseball because he felt “called in other directions.” It looks as if that means a return to the NFL.

The 33-year-old former first-round NFL pick is expected to sign a one-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, numerous sources are reporting. A deal could be finalized later this week or next, but it is expected that he will play tight end, not quarterback. The Jags just selected QB Trevor Lawrence from Clemson with the top pick in the NFL draft.

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Tebow has not played an NFL game since 2012 with the New York Jets. He spent offseasons with the Patriots in 2013 and Eagles in 2015, but did not make the regular-season rosters. After being selected by the Denver Broncos with the 25th overall pick of the 2010 draft, Tebow played in 35 games, starting 16, throwing for 2,422 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

In Jacksonville, he’ll reunite with Jaguars coach Urban Meyer, who’s making the jump to the NFL after 17 years as a college football coach, winning national championships with Florida and Ohio State. He coached Tebow at Florida and together they won national championships in 2006 (when Tebow was a little-used freshman) and 2008 (when Tebow finished third in the Heisman voting, one year after winning the award as a sophomore).

NFL coaches long thought Tebow should move to tight end to prolong his football career, but he was adamant about playing quarterback. Now with a chance to join forces with Meyer and Lawrence, Tebow appears willing to switch positions.

In football, in baseball and away from the games, Tebow has long been one of the most outspoken Christ-following athletes — whether that’s preaching in churches or prisons, producing movies, or spreading God’s love through the Tim Tebow Foundation and its annual Night to Shine events. He was well-known in college for eye black with Bible verses written on them, and in the NFL for praying on the field.

Aside from the reunion with Meyer, Jacksonville is a great fit for Tebow in that he was raised in the area. He was born in the Philippines in 1987 while his parents were serving as missionaries there, but his family moved to Jacksonville when he was 3 years old. He was homeschooled through high school, but starred for Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, where as a senior he led the Panthers to a state title, earned All-State honors, was named Florida’s Mr. Football and a Parade Magazine high school All-American.

That Tebow, a three-time New York Times bestselling author, is even alive is a miracle, he says. Tebow’s mother, Pam, was encouraged to abort him as an unborn child because she contracted amoebic dysentery and the medicines used for her recovery threatened her pregnancy.

“You see, my mom 32 years ago had doctors tell her she needed to abort me because if she didn’t, it was going to cost her life,” Tebow said in a keynote address for the Kansans for Life’s banquet held in 2020. “And they didn’t even believe that I was a baby. They thought I was a tumor …

“When I was born, they found out the placenta wasn’t actually attached. So, the doctor looked at my mom after 37 years of being a doctor and said, ‘This is the biggest miracle I’ve ever seen because I’m not sure how he’s alive.’ … I’m so grateful that my mom trusted God with my life and her life.”

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