After the New England Patriots released quarterback Tim Tebow on August 31, 2013 he vowed to not give up.
“I will remain in relentless pursuit of continuing my lifelong dream of being an NFL quarterback,” Tebow declared.
Now, almost a year-and-half later, at the age of 27, he’s been thrown another lifeline. On Sunday, he agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, and will be in town to join his new teammates for the beginning of their off-season program on Monday.
Tebow will compete with Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, and Matt Barkley for the Eagles’ starting quarterback job. The last time we saw him as a starting quarterback was in 2011, when he took over the 1-4 Denver Broncos and led them to a 7-4 record and a Wildcard playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. But despite his work as a starter, Broncos GM John Elway didn’t feel he was the answer at quarterback, and traded him to the Jets shortly after that magical run.
With the Jets in 2012, the team’s then coach, Rex Ryan, didn’t allow Tebow to start a single game even though Sanchez struggled mightily that year. This made little sense.
Before his work in Denver, Tebow led the University of Florida to a national championship and won the Heisman Trophy.
While it’s hard to argue with his record of success under center, detractors claim that Tebow isn’t an NFL starting quarterback due to issues with his accuracy and throwing mechanics. During his time away from the NFL, aside from working in broadcasting, Tebow put in myriad hours working with different quarterback gurus to improve his throwing mechanics and footwork. We will see in the Eagles’ spring and summer camps if Tebow’s tireless work to improve his game has paid off.
“The great thing about living the Christian life and trying to live by faith, is you’re trying to get better every day,” Tebow said a few years ago. “You’re trying to improve.”
In a day and age with Christians under assault, perhaps it can serve as a small inspiration that one of the most prominent Christians derided for his faith used that ridiculed belief—in God and in himself—to return to the gridiron after his football obituary had been written. Tebow, the son of a missionary, doesn’t hide his Christian beliefs even though they made some in the progressive media uncomfortable.
“On the field I’m trying to play for the glory of God,” Tebow said.
And he hopes to play for Chip Kelly’s Eagles in Week One of the NFL regular season. But he has a lot of work to do between now and then.