- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The New England Patriots made a controversial decision to sign popular quarterback Tim Tebow to a two-year contract earlier this week. It’s the kind of move that doesn’t happen unless everyone in the organization is on the same page.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who drafted Tebow three years ago with the Denver Broncos, have always spoken highly of Tebow. On Wednesday, Patriots owner Robert Kraft weighed in on the new addition.
“If you want to win in this league, you need quality depth management,” Kraft explained. “In the age of the salary cap, whenever you can get a competitive, first-grade person to join your team, you never know what happens. But for me personally, having Tim Tebow on this team, he’s someone who believes in spirituality, he’s very competitive and works hard and has a great attitude and he’s a winner.
“Having him as part of our franchise is great but he has to compete just like anyone else. We’re blessed to have a lot of people like that, but the fact that spirituality is so important to him is very appealing to me.”
At best, Tebow is New England’s No. 3 quarterback. Future Hall of Famer Tom Brady is the unquestioned starter and Ryan Mallett is a promising backup. Belichick would not shed light on what Tebow’s role with the team would be. Tebow must first make the 53-man roster in training camp.
But Tebow has the support of New England’s owner, the man who signs the checks. That’s obviously a good sign in Tebow's favor.
Kraft said he saw “two or three” of Tebow’s games in person at the University of Florida. Kraft also met Tebow during the pre-draft process and has always been impressed with the quarterback.
“I think he’s hard-working and very cooperative,” Kraft said. “I don’t think there’s any coach who wouldn’t like to have a team full of people like he is. Like Brady, he comes out there and works hard or Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo. They come in, they work hard, they prepare hard and they’re all business. You can’t get enough people like that on your team. We’re honored that he’s with us.”