All of a sudden, the mighty New England Patriots look vulnerable. Their high-powered offense, which nearly single-handedly carried the team to the AFC title game last year, lost Wes Welker to free agency, Rob Gronkowski to a myriad of injuries and surgeries that leave his return timetable unknown, and Aaron Hernandez to the police.
The Patriots decision to cut Hernandez came just hours after he was brought into custody, and screams “public relations move,” not “football move.” Sure, Hernandez looks sketchy as hell, and he appears to be connected to this tragic death in some way, but authorities haven yet to release the charges against him (that happens later today) and already the Pats are jumping ship. It was a curious move that leaves the depth chart a little, shall we say, thinned out.
So with all that space in the slot, should the Patriots be looking to mold newly-signed Tim Tebow into their newest tight end?
It’s a viewpoint I expressed (to the best of my ability) on Huffington Post Live two weeks ago. And that was when the Patriots had Hernandez on their roster. Tebow’s signing stank of publicity stunt then, and will be even more so now if they don’t try to move him over
Based on the situation now, Tebow will never be a starting quarterback in this league. He’ll never get into a game ahead of Tom Brady or even Ryan Mallett, and will thus never get the chance to “prove” himself behind center again. If he ever wants to see the field, make a contribution and truly be the team-first player we all hear he is, he should be learning blocking schemes and catching balls in practice. They’re on the hook for almost no money with the guy anyway. How can it hurt?
Tebow has shown that he’s at his best when he’s out in the flat, breaking tackles. It’s a skill that the Patriots desperately need, more than ever. Tom Brady can’t just throw the ball to Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman and “Michael Hoomanawanui.” (Who? Exactly.) The next tight end on the depth chart, Jake Ballard, didn’t even play last season. He’s about as raw as Tebow at this point.
Now that they’ve given up completely on one beleaguered tight end — one who, admittedly, may be in legal trouble for a long, long time — and find themselves waiting on another to heal, it’s time to give Tebow a shot and see what he can do at another position.
I’m sure you all have thoughts. Let’s hear them.
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