New England Patriots on Paper: Belichick stirs the “Haterade”, signs free agent Tebow


The most polarizing personality in the National Football League is now a member of the New England Patriots.

It doesn’t matter what team you root for, what walk of life you hail from or religious denomination you profess, the name Tim Tebow elicits some manner of emotional response from just about everyone…

Nov. 22, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) wave to each other after the game on Thanksgiving at Metlife Stadium. Patriots won 49-19. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

…and now that he’s a member of perhaps the most hated team in the league, the emotional responses should be amplified to that of the fictional rock band Spinal Tap…cranked up to 11.

With mandatory minicamp starting in Foxboro on Tuesday, the already intriguing position battles have momentarily taken a surreal back seat to the signing of the Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Florida, who was drafted by Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels while he was the head coach of the Denver Broncos.

Tebow spent last season as the New York Jets change-up plan that never materialized, a move that was speculated by many at the time that was meant to keep New England from signing him, which was seemingly confirmed as Tebow was seldom used in any capacity and languished on the sidelines.

The move comes on the heels of Bill Belichcik having to defend himself over remarks that he “Hates” Tebow as a football player, which he firmly rebutted:  “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.”

And in the same breath Belichick addressed a question from a member of the Boston media about the possibility of signing him, since he didn’t hate him, saying, “I wouldn’t get into the probability of us pursuing any free agent.  Every single player has strengths and weaknesses.”

Belichick and Tebow have been connected with each other in the media since the two had dinner together prior to the 2010 draft, and Tebow’s name had popped up on occasion as a possibility for the Patriots in free agency.

Ed Werder from ESPN is reporting that Tebow was signed with the intention of competing for a backup quarterback gig, while Mike Freeman of CBSSports states that Tebow will “study a great deal at Tight End” – and this publication believes that Tebow will be used primarily as an H-Back, lining up all over the formation.

It will not be known for sure where Tebow fits in this Patriots’ offense, but one thing is for sure:  The hate for the New England Patriots will probably climb to new heights.