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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Tuesday that he wanted Tim Tebow to make the roster and hopes he gets another shot to play quarterback with a different team, while Tom Brady, speaking publicly for the first time since the former Heisman Trophy winner's release, said he enjoyed their roughly 2½ months as teammates.
|Tom Brady said he enjoyed getting to know Tim Tebow during their brief time as teammates with the Patriots. Tebow was released by the team Saturday.|
"I love Tim Tebow and I very much wanted him on the team," Kraft said in an appearance on CBS' "This Morning" on Tuesday. "If you look, four of the last five years we've only carried two quarterbacks, and you know when a cut-down time comes, you need those last three, four positions for depth."
When Tebow was waived Saturday as the team trimmed its roster to 53 players, it left Ryan Mallett as the lone quarterback behind Brady on the depth chart.
"I enjoyed being around him very much," Brady said of Tebow on the "Dennis & Callahan Show" on WEEI Sports Radio in Boston. "He's a very talented football player, and to have a chance to spend a couple months with him and kind of become a friend of his was a great thing.
"Yesterday we were talking about a lot of the quarterbacks that have been through our team over the years, and everyone brings a unique skill set and attitude to the table, and I really enjoyed being with him."
I love Tim Tebow and I very much wanted him on the team.” -- Robert Kraft
Tebow had an up-and-down preseason for the Patriots, going 11-of-30 passing in three appearances and tossing an interception and two touchdown passes during the team's preseason finale against the New York Giants.
He was subject to the NFL's waiver system after his release, but he went unclaimed and is now a free agent.
If Tebow doesn't hook on with another NFL team, he could look to the Canadian Football League, but the CFL team that holds his negotiating rights doesn't sound interested in giving him a call.
"We haven't spoken to Tebow or his representative," Montreal Alouettes general manager/coach Jim Popp told reporters Monday, according to the Toronto Sun, adding that "a team would have to change its entire system for Tim."
Although Brady did not suggest that a return to New England was likely for Tebow, he alluded to the unpredictable nature of the NFL and how players who had been let go by the Patriots have ultimately wound up back with the team, echoing similar comments made by coach Bill Belichick on Monday.
"And you never know, I mean, maybe things in the NFL always, you know, who knows who could be back on the team this year?" Brady said. "But I wish him nothing but the best. He's really a great person and a great player."
Kraft also did not shut the door on a possible Tebow return.
"We never know what's going to happen," he said. "You're one play away at all times from your whole game changing, and there's no -- I haven't met a finer young man."
Kraft believes that Tebow will find success in his off-field ventures, and he remains hopeful Tebow has a chance to continue his football pursuits.
"Whatever he does, I know he's going to be a great success off the field and I'm rooting for him to get his opportunity on the field as well," he said.