FOXBOROUGH — Tim Tebow is back on the field with an NFL team — the New England Patriots.
The Patriots announced the signing of the former Jets quarterback yesterday, six weeks after he was cut by New York and just in time for the start of the three-day Patriots minicamp that runs through tomorrow.
Tebow practiced with veteran New England starter Tom Brady and backup Ryan Mallett. The newest Patriot wore No. 5, not his familiar 15 — which belongs to Mallett — on his shorts and helmet. The QBs wore red jerseys without numbers.
“First and foremost, I just want to thank the Patriots for giving me an opportunity. I’m very thankful,” Tebow said on the field after practice. “It’s such an honor to be a Patriot and play for Coach (Bill) Belichick and for Coach (Josh) McDaniels, learn under Tom (Brady), and be a part of this very successful franchise.”
Two people with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press that Tebow was signed for two years with no guaranteed money. One person says he will make the veteran’s minimum salary, $630,000 in 2013, with incentives.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because terms of the deals had not been announced.
ESPN first reported terms of the signing.
“Anything we do, we feel is in the best interests of the team,” Belichick said at a standing-room-only news conference before practice. “We’ll see how it goes.”
With 15 video cameras and more than 40 media members in the audience, Belichick said, “We’ve been in front of bigger crowds before.”
Tebow, 25, is being reunited with McDaniels, the Patriots offensive coordinator who was Denver’s head coach when the Broncos traded into the first round to take him with the 25th draft pick in 2010. McDaniels stood next to Tebow on the practice field.