published Monday, June 10th, 2013

AP Source: Tim Tebow to sign with Patriots

In this Dec. 17, 2012, file photo, then-New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow warms up before an NFL football game in Nashville.
In this Dec. 17, 2012, file photo, then-New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow warms up before an NFL football game in Nashville.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A person familiar with the situation says quarterback Tim Tebow will be signing with the New England Patriots and joining their minicamp Tuesday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made.

ESPN first reported that Tebow would sign with New England.

One of the NFL’s most polarizing players, Tebow spent a lost season in 2012 with the New York Jets, playing sparingly behind struggling starter Mark Sanchez. Tebow was released in April.

Tebow won two national titles at Florida and was a first-round draft pick in 2010 by Denver. He helped the Broncos win the AFC West in 2011, even beating Pittsburgh in a wild-card game before losing to, yes, the Patriots.

But he was traded to New York the following offseason when Denver signed Peyton Manning. Tebow threw only eight passes for the Jets, completing six, ran 32 times for 102 yards and was used mostly to protect the punter.

The Patriots, of course, have Tom Brady as their starting quarterback, and Ryan Mallett as the backup. They released QB Mike Kafka on Monday.

Asked if Tebow had signed, Patriots spokesman Stacey James said, “I do not anticipate any additional transactions to announce tonight.”

Tebow’s NFL career appeared over when the Jets couldn’t trade him at draft time and wound up cutting the left-handed quarterback, who won the 2007 Heisman Trophy at Florida. There even was speculation he couldn’t get an offer from any Canadian Football League teams.

But now he is headed to New England, where the man who drafted him as coach of the Broncos, Josh McDaniels, is an offensive assistant under head coach Bill Belichick.

And other than winning Super Bowls, Belichick likes nothing better than sticking it to the Jets. Revitalizing Tebow’s career would do exactly that.

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