Tim Tebow is ready to fill in the spot vacated by now-arrested tight end Aaron Hernandez. Just not on the New England Partiorts depth chart.
While rumors are building that the New England Patriots may gave Tebow a shot at tight end, he’s already replaced Hernandez in one sports promotion. The sports trading card and memorabilia company Panini has painstakingly removed 500,000 Aaron Hernandez stickers from its team sticker books, replacing him with Tim Tebow.
The Tim Tebow stickers — the company printed 1 million in total — will be handed out to fans at events and given to customers who got Aaron Hernandez in their packs. The Tebow stickers will also be available for download at the company’s website.
“We felt strongly that making these changes was the right thing to do, for Panini and our products but, more importantly, for our fans and collectors,” said Jason Howarth, Panini’s vice president of marketing.
Aaron Hernandez was already wiped out of Electronic Arts video games, including “Madden NFL 25” and “NCAA Football 14,” and the Pro Football Hall of Fame has also distanced itself from the former star tight end, taking down his pictures.
The New England Patriots also cut Lloyd just hours after his arrest, and instituted a program for fans to trade in old Aaron Hernandez jerseys for different ones of equal value.
Hernandez was charged three weeks ago in the shooting death of 27-year-old associate Odin Lloyd. Police say Hernandez orchestrated Lloyd’s murder after an argument a few days beforehand at a club, one in which Hernandez chastised Lloyd for associating with people he didn’t get along with.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Many are now looking to see if Tim Tebow could challenge for the roster spot left open by Aaron Hernandez after his arrest. Tebow is coming off a poor year with the New York Jets, and many NFL insiders say his future in the league will be as a halfback or tight end, not as a quarterback.