The announcement that Tim Tebow was signing a one-year contract to play for the Jacksonville Jaguars was met with elation from his fans, but anger from many — including current and former NFL players — who don’t think he should be in the league.
Tebow will have the opportunity to make the Jaguars roster at tight end under head coach Urban Meyer — Tebow’s college coach — after last playing in an NFL regular season game in 2012. The former quarterback turned his sights toward professional baseball the last four years, playing for the New York Mets organization.
His signing set social media ablaze, and on Friday, Tebow became the first player to have a best selling jersey in five different uniforms. While it has certainly reignited “Tebowmania,” it’s also drawn the ire of players and media members alike.
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Devin Bush was shocked that Tebow received an opportunity before former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
😂😂Tebow got a job before kaepernick. Wait til we play Jacksonville💤💤💤💤
— Devin Bush ll (@_Dbush11) May 11, 2021
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith implied that Tebow’s signing was a product of “white privilege.”
“When we see someone of a different ilk, of a different ethnicity, getting opportunities we know we would never get, that’s where the words white privilege come from. … There’s no way to eradicate white privilege without white individuals giving up some of their privilege,” Smith said.
While Tebow has taken a lot of grief for the opportunity, there is at least one NFL player that is willing to support him — seven-year NFL veteran and current free agent Trey Burton.
“I don’t understand the outrage,” Burton told ESPN. “There are 90 [roster] spots. If they want to bring someone in, why not? A lot of teams take fliers on guys from various backgrounds every year.”
Burton is quite familiar with Tebow’s situation, as he was recruited to the University of Florida by Meyer to play quarterback before switching to tight end in order to receive more playing time. He went undrafted, but signed with the Philadelphia Eagles and went on to throw a touchdown in the Super Bowl on the famous “Philly Special” touchdown.
He believes Tebow has what it takes to be a successful tight end in the NFL, but also knows that he faces a difficult road ahead.
“From an athletic and mental standpoint, there’s no doubt he’ll do a great job,” Burton said. “It’s the day-to-day physical part, the technique that’s the toughest thing.”
“As a quarterback, you’re in the pocket looking into coverage. At tight end, you know the coverages but you have to go full speed in a three-point stance and diagnose. You see the linebacker, the defensive end and the safety on your side of the field. … There’s a lot more to it than whether he can do it or not. It’s deeper than that.”
Tebow’s roster spot on the Jaguars isn’t guaranteed, and he’ll be competing with the six other tight ends currently on the Jacksonville roster. His familiarity with Meyer’s offense should help his transition from quarterback to tight end, but it’s yet to be seen if the soon-to-be 34-year-old has what it takes to play the position.
“I really hope he does well. I love what he’s about, how he plays the game,” Burton said. “There’s no doubt in the world, he’s the type of guy to try and defy the odds. You say he can’t do it, well, he’s going to give it all that he has.”
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.