The Jets released Tim Tebow on Monday morning, prompting pundits everywhere to wonder where the lightning-rod quarterback will catch on next.
Marc Sessler of NFL.com lists the Patriots as a possible landing spot. Bill Belichick praised Tebow before the 2010 draft and was even spotted having dinner with him in Boston, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was coach of the Broncos when they took him in the first round that year.
But is a Tebow-to-Patriots possibility realistic? Our guys give their take:
* Mike Reiss: Nothing would surprise me when it comes to Tim Tebow and the Patriots. I have no inside information that the team has even a small level of interest. But I do know this after watching 14 years of roster construction: Bill Belichick's view on building a team often places a value on things beyond tangible statistics such as completion percentage. It is why he doesn't hesitate to draft someone like Rutgers safety Duron Harmon in the third round when many had him as a free-agent type, and it is why I wouldn't rule out the possibility of signing Tebow until Belichick himself puts the kibosh on any chatter. Belichick knows that every move he makes sends a message to every player in the locker room (e.g. why half-committed Jeff Demps was traded to Tampa on Saturday), and if he thinks having Tebow around is a positive, I don't think he'd hesitate. In fact, I think there would be a part of him that might like it, similar to having Doug Flutie around in 2005 (not comparing them as players as much as their presence).
* Field Yates: Though there's an obvious tie between Tebow and the Patriots organization in McDaniels, the Patriots re-confirmed their already unwavering support to Tom Brady this offseason by inking him to a three-year contract extension. While Tebow may find a role in the NFL as a situational quarterback who can be effectively used in goal line/short yardage situations, when you have Brady on your roster, your intention is to play him on every snap. The Patriots likely don't view Tebow as a comparable prospect to Ryan Mallett as it relates to being a conventional back-up to Brady because his skill set is so dissimilar. Rather than adding a quarterback who would require multiple alterations to the offense to work with, the Patriots seem more likely to stay with their tried-and-true system.
* Mike Rodak: While the prospect of Tebow in a Patriots uniform can generate buzz, don't hold your breath for the league's most famous backup quarterback to land in New England. Yes, the Patriots could be in the market for another quarterback -- behind Brady, they have only Mallett and Mike Kafka under contract -- but it won't be Tebow. That word "value" we heard connected to the Patriots this weekend during the draft applies here. Tebow's style of play won't work in the Patriots offense, and he is hardly a difference-maker in his limited time on special teams. Even at a minimum contract, the value just isn't there for the Patriots.