Tim Tebow is back in the National Football League, getting a chance to be a part of Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense in Philadelphia after signing a one-year contract with the Eagles.
Tebow, 27, last played in an NFL game with the New York Jets during the 2012 season. He was released by the New England Patriots before appearing in a game in 2013, and most recently worked as a college football analyst for Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN and the SEC Network.
Tebow becomes the fifth quarterback on the Eagles’ roster, joining fellow first-round picks Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez along with Matt Barkley and G.J. Kinne. The Eagles, under Kelly, were the third-highest-scoring team in the NFL last season and ran a league-high 1,127 plays from scrimmage.
Tebow won two national championships and the 2007 Heisman Trophy as college football’s best player while at the University of Florida, yet was a polarizing player during his three NFL seasons. While he threw 17 touchdown passes against nine interceptions and also rushed for 989 yards and 12 scores, he only completed 47.9 percent of his passes. The NFL’s average completion percentage was 62.6 last season.
Tebow has won an NFL playoff game more recently than the Eagles, whose last postseason victory came after the 2008 season. Tebow went 9-7 as a starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos, including a 2011 playoff victory.
Tebow that year was voted America’s favorite active pro athlete in an ESPN fan-based poll and had one of the league’s best-selling jerseys. He also spawned a fad known as ‘Tebowing’ based on his kneel-and-pray pose after victories and has been outspoken in professing his Christian beliefs.
ESPN executive vice president John Wildhack said in a statement that he wishes Tebow the best of luck “as he pursues his NFL dream” and has a home at the network when his playing career is done.