Former professional baseball player, Heisman trophy winner and television personality Tim Tebow is trying for what many NFL fans believed unthinkable—an NFL comeback at the age of 33, according to multiple reports Thursday, with the news dominating social media just hours before the 2021 NFL draft is set to start.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network both reported Thursday that Tebow had recently tried out for the Jacksonville Jaguars as a tight end, stunning fans given he’s been out of the league for nearly a decade and didn’t play tight end in the past.
Tebow’s last NFL appearance came with the New York Jets during the 2012 season, when he played at quarterback.
Tebow’s taken a whirlwind journey since then, spending time as a sports broadcaster, film producer and, most notably, professional baseball player.
For the past five years, Tebow’s played for the New York Mets organization—making it as high as AAA in 2019—but was never able to break into the major leagues.
Tebow announced his retirement from baseball in February.
Tebow burst onto both the football and pop culture scenes during his college career as quarterback for the Florida Gators in the late 2000s. Tebow had phenomenal success in his college career, winning two national championships and being awarded the Heisman Trophy in 2007. He also became especially known for his forthright Christian faith—regularly kneeling in prayer before and after games, while wearing eye black he adorned with Bible verses. Writing on eye black was later banned from college football. After Tebow’s college career came to an end, many questioned whether his unorthodox quarterbacking style largely focused on rushing would translate successfully to the NFL, but he went on to be drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2010 draft. He had modest success in Denver, notably leading the team to an overtime playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 season. But Tebow was traded to the Jets after that season, and he was never again a regular starting quarterback in the NFL.
Should Tebow actually sign with the Jaguars, many expect he would take on more of a versatile role than simply playing tight end, given his experience at quarterback and his running abilities. His skill set has been compared to Taysom Hill of the New Orleans Saints, who’s had success over the past few years playing a variety of positions during games—quarterback, tight end, running back and even punt rusher.
What To Watch For
The first round of the NFL Draft is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. Thursday. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is widely expected to be selected with the number one pick, which belongs to the Jaguars.