FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts (AP) — Tim Tebow, the polarizing quarterback with the poor throwing motion, was signed by the New England Patriots on Tuesday.
The move came six weeks after he was cut by the New York Jets and just in time for the start of the three-day minicamp that runs through Thursday. Two people with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press that Tebow was signed for two years with no guaranteed money. One person says he will make the veteran's minimum salary, $630,000 in 2013, with incentives.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because terms of the deals had not been announced. "Anything we do, we feel is in the best interests of the team," coach Bill Belichick said at a standing-room-only news conference before practice.
With 15 video cameras and more than 40 media members in the audience, Belichick said, "We've been in front of bigger crowds before." Tebow, 25, is being reunited with Josh McDaniels, the Patriots offensive coordinator who was Denver's head coach when the Broncos traded into the first round to take him with the 25th draft pick in 2010.
There is no guarantee that Tebow will still be with the Patriots when training camp begins next month, but if the Patriots keep him, he would have time to develop as a quarterback since Tom Brady holds that job. Tebow even could be tried at tight end, where the status of Rob Gronkowski is uncertain after he had his fourth operation on his broken left forearm on May 20 and faces back surgery this month.
Asked if Tebow would be used at quarterback, Belichick, in his usual low-key manner, said, "we're going to do what we think is best for our football team." He also said during the news conference lasting about nine minutes that Tebow is "a talented guy. He's smart. He works hard."
After Tebow was traded by Denver to the Jets with great fanfare in March 2012, he hardly played. He threw only eight passes last season and played primarily as the protector for the Jets' punter. His absence from the field fed a media frenzy in New York.
The spotlight will be dimmer in Foxborough where Belichick tightly controls which players can talk to the media and what they can say. When they go beyond those limits, Belichick sometimes forbids them from talking with reporters.
Tebow's NFL career appeared to be over when the Jets released him in April and no team rushed to sign him. But Belichick decided to bring in the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner who led University of Florida to two national college championships.
New England swept the Jets last season, including a 49-19 win, en route to the AFC title game.