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Continued: QB Tim Tebow signs with New England Patriots; people familiar with deal say it is for 2 years

  • Article by: HOWARD ULMAN , AP Sports Writer
  • Last update: June 12, 2013 - 2:15 AM

Quite a contrast to Tebow's introductory press session with the New York Jets last year. He spoke for 30 minutes at that gathering, moved from the normal media room to the team's field house because the turnout was so large.

At 25, Tebow owns a Heisman Trophy, two college national championship rings and one NFL playoff victory, plus a global following based as much on his beliefs as his ballplaying.

With a rack of Super Bowl trophies in their possession, the Patriots want wins, not headlines.

Tebow joined the perennial playoff team for the first practice of its three-day minicamp. It's uncertain whether the left-hander QB will last until training camp in late July or the first exhibition game on Aug. 9 at Philadelphia. And the season opener in Buffalo on Sept. 8 is still nearly three months away.

By that time, he might even have another position — H-back, tight end or punt protector.

But at least he has an NFL job after signing with the Patriots on Tuesday. That prospect seemed to be a long shot when no team hurried to sign him after the Jets cut him on April 29, three days after they drafted quarterback Geno Smith out of West Virginia.

Belichick, as usual, was brief in his hopes for Tebow.

"We'll try to do what we think is best for our football team," Belichick said.

Might he be used on special teams on defense?

"We'll see. I don't know."

What about people who have questioned his ability to play quarterback in the NFL?

"I've already said that," Belichick he said. "I've answered the question twice. He's a talented player who is smart and works hard."

Tebow's former coach with the Jets wasn't about to offer any advice to Belichick, either.

"Oh, please, he's not going to listen to me, and he shouldn't," Rex Ryan said. "He'll just do what he does, and that makes sense."

Ryan never found a way to use Tebow productively after the Jets acquired him to great fanfare following his trade from the Denver Broncos in March 2013.

"I'm happy for the young man to get another opportunity in the league," Ryan said. "Obviously, Tim had more success in Denver than he did here."

New York went 6-10 last season, while New England was 12-4 and advanced to the AFC title game. With the Jets, Tebow completed six of eight passes and ran 32 times for 102 yards.

Tebow had a lot more success in college at Florida. With the Patriots, he's reunited with two former college teammates, tight end Aaron Hernandez and linebacker Brandon Spikes.

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