Tim Tebow could still make New England’s final roster, but if he’s cut sometime between now and Saturday night he might not end up going far.
Tebow’s had a shaky training camp and preseason for the Patriots, leading to doubts over whether he’ll make the team’s final 53-man roster, which is due Saturday night. He’s got a few things going for him — an endorsement from owner Robert Kraft and the backing of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who drafted Tebow, are key — but Tebow is decidedly on the bubble.
Historically, Patriots coach Bill Belichick has only kept two quarterbacks on the roster, and Tom Brady’s backup Ryan Mallett isn’t going anywhere. So to make the team Tebow either has to outperform one of the special teams players on the depth chart or convince the Patriots that the aging Brady needs a better insurance policy than Mallett alone.
If Tim Tebow should be cut, he might not end up going far from New England, however.
Just a few hours away, the Buffalo Bills are in a dire quarterback situation. Their first-round pick EJ Manuel is still healing from a minor surgical procedure on his knee and may not be back in time for the team’s opening game. Kevin Kolb, the veteran brought in to compete with Manuel, suffered what appears to be a career-ending concussion, leaving the Week 1 job to undrafted rookie free agent Jeff Tuel.
Though the Bills are solidly behind Tuel as the starter, the backup situation leaves much to be desired. Shortly after word of Kolb’s injury, the Bills brought in Matt Leinart and traded with the Detroit Lions for Thad Lewis.
Leinart promptly fumbled his chance to remain in the NFL after being cast off by the Oakland Raiders last season. In Buffalo’s final preseason game, he finished 3-of-10 passing for 11 yards and two interceptions, earning him a 0.0 quarterback rating. By the next day he was cut.
So with Thad Lewis now listed as the backup, the Bills are desperate for EJ Manuel to return. But in the meantime, the team may be likely to scoop up Tim Tebow if he doesn’t earn a spot with New England.
If it does play out that way, it would make for an interesting Week 1 matchup and a quick reunion for Tim Tebow. The Bills open the season by hosting the Patriots.