JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Tim Tebow’s attempted NFL comeback has officially begun.
The 2007 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback signed his contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday as a tight end, reuniting him with Urban Meyer, his former head coach at Florida.
Tebow signed a one-year deal and will be on the field Thursday for the team’s offseason program as he sets out to compete for a roster spot, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“I want to thank the Jaguars for the opportunity to compete and earn the chance to be part of this team,” Tebow said in a statement. “I know it will be a challenge, but it is a challenge I embrace. I am dedicated to taking the direction of our coaching staff and learning from my teammates. I appreciate everyone’s support as I embark on this new journey.”
Tebow, who will turn 34 in August, hasn’t played football since the 2015 NFL preseason and has spent the past six years working as a broadcaster on the SEC Network and working on his professional baseball career. He was adamant about being a quarterback during his previous six-year stretch in the NFL with the Broncos, Jets, Patriots and Eagles, but he apparently has had a change of heart now that Meyer is running the Jaguars.
Tebow asked Meyer for a tryout in February, and he worked out at least twice for the Jaguars. His first day on the field with his teammates will be when the Jaguars begin organized team activities on Monday.
Tebow becomes the sixth tight end on the roster, joining Chris Manhertz, James O’Shaughnessy, Luke Farrell, Ben Ellefson and Tyler Davis. Manhertz, who was signed in free agency, is a blocker who has 12 catches in 70 career games. O’Shaughnessy has 88 catches in six seasons with Kansas City and Jacksonville. Ellefson has one career catch and Davis played in eight games last season after the Jaguars selected him in the sixth round. Farrell was the team’s fifth-round pick this year.
Denver drafted Tebow 25th overall in 2010, and he started only three games that season but started both of the Broncos’ playoff games. He went 7-4 as a starter with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions with the Broncos in 2011, but Denver signed Peyton Manning in the offseason.
The Jets used Tebow mainly on special teams in 2012. He was cut the following April and signed with New England, but was released during the final cuts after training camp. He signed with Philadelphia in April 2015 and played in all four preseason games before being released in the final cuts.
Tebow grew up in Jacksonville and starred at Nease High School before signing with Meyer and Florida in December 2005. He helped the Gators win the national championship as a backup to Chris Leak in 2006, was the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy in 2007, and led Florida to another national title in 2008.