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Patriots to sign Tim Tebow

5:53 AM, Jun 11, 2013   |    comments
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Bill Belichick is now just kicking the New York Jets while they're down. Tim Tebow is on his way to Foxborough to join the New England Patriots.

The former Jets and Denver Broncos quarterback and utility player is expected to sign with the Patriots on Tuesday and be on the field this week for the team's minicamp, a person informed of the signing told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the move won't be official until Tuesday.

The signing contradicts recent reports that Belichick didn't like Tebow as a player and that Tebow had given up on his chances of continuing his NFL career following his disaster of a season with the Jets in 2012, when he was passed over for Greg McElroy late in the season after Mark Sanchez lost his starting job.

Belichick certainly hasn't given up on Tebow, and if any coach and team are best suited to handle the sideshow Tebow brings, they are Belichick and the Patriots.

Remember, too, that Josh McDaniels, Tebow's head coach in Denver, is the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

And there's more, Jets fans: If Tebow makes the roster, the Jets will face castoffs in back-to-back games --former disgruntled cornerback Darrelle Revis and the Bucs at home in the opener on Sept. 12, then Tebow in New England four days later.

Tebow brought his baggage to the Jets last year and, despite owner Woody Johnson's visions of him being a draw for the fans, he was nothing more than a distraction. Even Sanchez admitted as much following the year by stating, "I just don't know if it was the best situation for either of us. ... You can avoid that stuff on your own if you like, in my opinion, but he's a popular guy and people gravitate towards the guy."

Consider this Belichick's way of showing the Jets how to handle the attention Tebow brings. If he succeeds, gets some production out of Tebow and doesn't distract from the overall goal of continued success during his regime, that'll be yet another dart sent in the direction of Florham Park, N.J.

As for Tebow, he's been intent on saying he can and will be a full-time NFL quarterback once again. New England is not the place for that to happen, at least not with a healthy Tom Brady under center.

Tebow figures to continue serving as a utility player on offense and a special-teams contributor. It's a role he accepted with the Jets, only to privately sulk when he learned he wouldn't be replacing Sanchez late in the year. That he's headed to back up one of the best quarterbacks in the game reveals Tebow has accepted his role will be as a contributor somewhere other than at quarterback.

Gannett/USA Today

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