On his first day with the Patriots, the New England newcomer was just a backup quarterback, No. 5 on his helmet and number three on the depth chart.
And when practice ended Tuesday, Tebow talked — for all of 40 seconds.
“First and foremost, I just want to thank the Patriots for giving me an opportunity,” Tebow said.
For now, that’s all it is.
No promises of trick plays. No huge media circus. Not even a guaranteed job.
“I don’t know. We’ll see,” Belichick said.
Two people with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press that Tebow was signed for two years but no assured money. One person says he will make the veteran’s minimum salary, $630,000 in 2013, with incentives.
The Patriots already may be making money on their investment. The team’s pro shop was taking pre-orders for jerseys with his last name — and no number — on the back. Prices ranged from $69.95 to $99.95, with free shipping.
Tebow prefers the number 15, but second-string quarterback Ryan Mallett already has it.
During practice, the three QBs worked under the close scrutiny of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, the head coach with the Denver Broncos in 2011 when Tebow enjoyed his greatest pro success.
They all threw good spirals, although Tebow’s velocity and delivery appeared to be the slowest.