July 16, 2024


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Tim Tebow released by Jaguars, ending tight end experiment: ‘I’m grateful for the chance’

Tim Tebow is once again a free agent and his reunion with head coach Urban Meyer is over. After coming out of retirement to try his hand at converting to tight end for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team has opted to release him after just one preseason game, per the NFL transaction wire. It wasn’t a great camp for Tebow, to say the least, but things truly went awry for him in the preseason matchup against the Cleveland Browns — when one of his attempted blocks went viral. It was always an uphill climb for Tebow to make the final roster, but he has no regrets in giving it a shot.

“Thankful for the highs and even the lows, the opportunities, and the setbacks,” Tebow said, via Twitter. “I’ve never wanted to make decisions out of fear of failure and I’m grateful for the chance to have pursued a dream. Thank you to the Jaguars organization and everyone who has supported me in this journey. And we know that God works all things together for good. Romans 8:28.”

Meyer explained the move shortly after pulling the roster trigger. 

“It’s tough,” Meyer told media, via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. “We knew that was an uphill battle for Tim. Players loved him. The locker room loved him. But it was the right thing.”

A former first-round pick of the Denver Broncos, the once highly touted quarterback saw a bit of playoff glory with the assistance of now-retired wide receiver Demaryius Thomas before being traded to the New York Jets in 2012 following Denver’s signing of Peyton Manning. The wheels began falling off of his career from that point forward, leading to his retirement after a short stint with the Philadelphia Eagles and initial refusal to try his hand at tight end. Tebow then sought to revive his baseball dreams by signing with the New York Mets and recently retired from baseball this offseason, finding his way to a familiar face in Meyer — his college coach at Florida — not long thereafter.

Meyer explained why Tebow didn’t make the roster, which had more to do with an important aspect of football he just couldn’t master.

“It was special teams,” Meyer said. “This whole roster management is really critical as we journey here into the next two weeks. Two of the special teams phases are tackling and he had never tackled. That’s what I found myself and I still find myself, all of us. 

“Every off day we’ll have a two-to-three-hour meeting about roster management, and it comes down [to that] because we expect to be very good on special teams. The tight end position is one of those [positions], and tailback, if you can’t contribute on special teams, that’s a tough go.”

In assessing Tebow’s odds of making the roster, Meyer himself was noncommittal. 

“The tough part is 53 and that’s new to me,” Meyer told USA Today in late June. “That’s the reality of the NFL, that you have 90 players. So to me, he’s one of 90. He’s a guy that’s, you know, what’s the difference between him and the other 40 guys trying to make the team? To me, it’s all the same. 

“This is their livelihood, this is a job, this is a way to make a living. And the reality is that a good percentage of your roster’s gonna get cut or transition out of here, which, to me, that’s completely new. In college, you’ve got your 85, 95 guys and you fit them in and you put the puzzle together. It’s much different here.”

It’s unclear if Tebow will try to reignite his career elsewhere, but Meyer and the Jaguars have seen enough, and the former appears to believe it’s the end of the road for his former Gator. 

“I would guess it is,” said Meyer. “We didn’t get that deep with it. Obviously, he’s his own man — an elite warrior, elite competitor, But he’s also 34 years old.”

That said, it’s difficult to fathom anyone else in the NFL giving Tebow a shot to prove what he couldn’t to Meyer, someone he has a long-standing and deep relationship with.

The Urban Meyer/Trevor Lawrence era has arrived! The Jaguars are on the rise and you can download the CBS Sports app so you don’t miss any headlines out of Jacksonville. Favorite the Jaguars now if you already have the app so you don’t miss a thing from one of 2021’s most interesting teams.