The New England Patriots pulled off yet another off-season shocker, signing cultural lightning rod QB Tim Tebow when some thought the winning quarterback would never play in the NFL again.
Instead, he'll be given a shot to make the roster of perhaps the NFL's marquee franchise and a consistent Super Bowl contender in the Patriots; instead of becoming of a circus sideshow with the terrible hometown Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14 in 2012).
Here are four immediate reactions to the news. We'll have full analysis in the morning.
ONE - The Patriots love to stir up the off-season pot. The Patriots have a rep for playing things close to the vest.
But year after year for the past decade they've signed or traded for some of the most controversial players in football: Corey Dillon, Randy Moss, Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco/Johnson, among others. And now Tebow.
May not always be good for biz on the field. It's always good for biz off the field: the stuffy old Patriots typically keep themselves front and center of the NFL off-season news cycle.
TWO - A lot of teams can use Tebow at QB. And the Patriots aren’t one of them. Almost every bad team last year could have used Tebow under center, as we've reported a number of times.
The Patriots were not one of those teams.
Tebow is good enough to play QB for at least half the teams in the NFL. He's not good enough to play QB for the Patriots.
THREE - Left-wing Bostonians and Bible thumper Tebow are a bad mix. Bostonians love their athletic heroes. They also love them to keep their mouths shut if their politics don't jibe with radical local convention. Tebow's vocal views on religion will have a very short life in Boston; a town which turned on championship-winning heroes like Curt Schilling and Tim Thomas when they become politically vocal. Even the untouchable Tom Brady was forced to turn down the volume after being caught in the presence of politicians unpopular in the Bay State.
FOUR - Tom Brady is a better short-yardage QB than Tebow – and anyone who has ever lived. We'll have the statistical details on Tuesday morning from our own Captain Comeback. Suffice to say, the Patriots have no need to insert Tebow into any kind of cockamamie "wildcat" college-style offense. Brady, after all, is the best short-yardage QB in history.
He's converted an incredible 88 of 92 third- and fourth-down attempts in his career when needing 1 to 2 yards. That’s 95.6 percent success, for those of you keeping score at home.
The great running QB Tebow? Just 10 of 14 in the same situation (71.4%).