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Patriots sign Tim Tebow

The Jets released Tim Tebow in April.
The Jets released Tim Tebow in April.Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The Patriots have signed Tim Tebow, a league source confirmed to the Globe's Shalise Manza Young.

The quarterback is expected to join the team at its minicamp Tuesday.

Tebow was released by the New York Jets in April after they drafted quarterback Geno Smith. Tebow played one season in New York after two in Denver.

Tebow was drafted by the Broncos in 2010 after winning two national championships and the Heisman Trophy (2007) at Florida. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was the Broncos head coach at the time.

Like just about anything with Tebow, news of the move quickly became the talk of the sports world. Despite limited success in the NFL, Tebow has been one of its most popular players.


In 2011, he led the Broncos on several improbable comebacks and into the playoffs, where he famously engineered an upset of the favored Steelers before losing to the Patriots in the AFC Divisional playoff round.

The comebacks spawned the popular phrase "Tebow Time," and his practice of kneeling in prayer after a touchdown or victory became known as "Tebowing," and was mimicked worldwide.

Tebow has 361 career pass attempts and 173 completions. He's thrown for 17 touchdowns and been intercepted nine times.

He also has 197 career rushing attempts for 989 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The Patriots announced they had released quarterback Mike Kafka and defensive lineman Dewayne Cherrington Monday. Tebow's signing has not been officially announced.

''If you can find a club that's mature enough to handle it as an organization, then you're going to find the right spot for him,'' said Former Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist. ''What I mean by that is all the media mania and that sort of thing. The club says, 'Look, this is the reason we're bringing him on. We feel he can bring X, Y, Z and A, B, C to the table.' Explain it to Tim, explain it to the media, explain it to your fan base and explain it to your organization.''


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. Some fans thought he got a raw deal and deserved more of a chance; others thought he lacked the skills to be a pro quarterback. He was released in April with barely a shrug — hardly the ending most Jets fans envisioned considering his super-hyped welcome to the Big Apple.

Tebow won two national titles at Florida and was a first-round draft pick in 2010 by Denver. As a rookie, Tebow threw just 82 passes in nine games, starting three. But in 2011, he started 11 games, throwing for 12 touchdowns and six interceptions, and took the Broncos to a wild-card win over Pittsburgh before an AFC divisional playoff loss to New England, 45-10.

Despite the Broncos' playoff run, 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.

''Unfortunately,'' coach Rex Ryan said in a statement when Tebow was released, ''things did not work out the way we all had hoped.''

The Patriots have Ryan Mallett as the backup to Brady.

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


Tebow has been criticized for his throwing motion but has said he wants to play quarterback, not switch positions. Still, the Patriots might need help at tight end after Rob Gronkowski underwent a fourth operation for a broken forearm and faces back surgery. At 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds, Tebow has the size to play that spot.

Associated Press football writer Barry Wilner contributed to this report.