The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed famous Christian athlete and former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow as a tight end after weeks of speculation surrounding the 33-year-old.
Tebow signed a one-year deal and will play for his former college coach and mentor, Urban Meyer, who is in his first season as head coach of the Jaguars.
Under Meyer's guidance, Tebow led the University of Florida Gators to two national championships in the 2006 and 2008 seasons. During his time as a Gator, Tebow became a household name known for his outspoken faith.
Tebow also led the Denver Broncos to a playoff victory in 2012. Ultimately, he left football for several years to pursue a career in baseball, playing in the New York Mets minor league system.
Tebow, who grew up in Jacksonville, Flordia, was a first-round draft pick and played in the NFL from 2010 to 2012 as a quarterback for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets. He is new to the tight end position.
“I want to thank the Jaguars for the opportunity to compete and earn the chance to be a part of this team,” Tebow said in a statement released by the Jaguars on Thursday.
“I know it will be a challenge, but it is a challenge I embrace,” he continued. “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.”
Speculation of the Jaguars signing Tebow sparked negative backlash on social media. Over the years, Tebows has also been criticized for being outspoken in his faith. Gene Simmons, a member of the rock band KISS, defended Tebow in a tweet last week.
“I support @TimTebow,” Simmons, 71, tweeted. “He was widely criticized and made fun of, simply because he is a man of faith, who believed in his Christian values. Shame on the NFL and the rest of the world for stooping so low.”
Tebow is known for wearing Bible verses on his eye black during college football games and for kneeling to pray before games, a position that has been dubbed “Tebowing.”
Tebow launched a minor league baseball career in 2016 at age 29 after not having played organized baseball since high school.
He announced his retirement from the New York Mets organization after feeling “called in other directions” in February.
Outside of his sports career, Tebow is active in his faith-based foundation and other projects.
Tebow is the founder and chairman of the Tim Tebow Foundation, an organization with a mission to “serve children and share God’s love” through special needs ministry, orphan care and prevention. The charity serves children with profound medical needs and participates in anti-human trafficking efforts.
Tebow’s foundation is a part of various ministry efforts and hosts “Night to Shine” prom events worldwide for special needs individuals each Valentine’s Day weekend.
Tebow is the fifth child of missionaries to the Philippines and was born in Makati City, Philippines, after his mother faced pregnancy complications and was encouraged to abort. Tebow is a pro-life advocate and gave remarks at the 48th annual March for Life rally this year.
Tebow and his brother, Robby Tebow, co-produced a faith-based film, "Run the Race," released in February 2019.
Tebow married his wife, Demi-Leigh Tebow, in January 2020. She was crowned Miss Universe 2017.
A three-time New York Times bestselling author, Tebow released his first children’s book with A.J. Gregory in January 2021 called Bronco and Friends: A Party to Remember. The book aims to help children with disabilities understand God loves them.
Emily Wood is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org