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June 11, 2013

QB Tim Tebow to sign with Patriots

Quarterback Tim Tebow will be signing with the New England Patriots and joining their minicamp Tuesday, a person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press.

The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made, told the AP on Monday that Tebow was headed for Foxborough.

ESPN first reported that Tebow would sign with New England.

Tebow will need to pass a physical before a contract becomes official. Even when Tebow signs with the team, there is no guarantee he will make the Patriots.

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.

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 taking 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, of course, have Tom Brady as their starting quarterback, and Ryan Mallett as the backup. They released QB Mike Kafka on Monday.

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

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