For the first time in his NFL career, Tim Tebow is a free agent.
The former New York Jets and Denver Broncos quarterback/H-back/punt protector/wide receiver cleared waivers Tuesday, as expected. No team put in a claim for Tebow, meaning he's free to sign with anyone.
It won't be easy for him to find his next job, especially if he's unwilling to switch positions from quarterback. But Tebow slimmed down this offseason and worked with a quarterbacks coach, which indicates he doesn't believe Jets coach Rex Ryan's passing over him for Greg McElroy when Mark Sanchez was benched last season is an indication that his time as an NFL quarterback is done.
But his prospects aren't that hot. If they were, a team would've claimed him Tuesday. No quarterback with a value to a roster passes through waivers, especially at a bargain price of less than $3.5 million in base salary the next two seasons.
"While I was here," Jets general manager John Idzik said Tuesday, "he was slated as a quarterback."
Tebow's chances of finding the field in the NFL seem much better if he would switch to a full-time role as a utility player. Even then, though, he probably wouldn't be viewed as a must-have piece for many teams for a few reasons.
First, there's the media circus he brings into the locker room, something Sanchez indicated recently was a distraction for him and even for Tebow.
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Secondly, Tebow struggled when he did play a utility role: He ran for only 102 yards on 32 attempts last season.
And third, Tebow struggled with his route running. A pass from Sanchez doinked off his helmet as he failed to locate the ball on a quick out route against the Miami Dolphins last season.
But Tebow has a track record as a winner and, save for his understandable disappointment late last season when he was passed over, is a team player who won't do anything to hurt his teammates. Maybe there's a team that would at least be intrigued about the possibility of adding him to the roster.
The San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots would make sense. Chargers coach Mike McCoy was Tebow's offensive coordinator in Denver. And if anybody could curb the sideshow Tebow would bring, it would be Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who has welcomed plenty of attention-grabbing players into his team-first locker room in recent years.
That said, Tebow is at the point where he might have to prove what he can do athletically. That could mean working out for teams instead of just strolling into the facility, taking a physical and signing a contract.
Or it could mean a stint in the Canadian Football League or Arena league.
But get the GPS ready. It should be an interesting spring - and perhaps summer - tracking Tebow's whereabouts as he makes the free agent rounds for the first time.
Mike Garafolo, USA TODAY Sports