Bubble watch: Tim Tebow

(Continuing a month-long series analyzing players who are on the roster bubble and where they may potentially fit in 2013.)

NAME: Tim Tebow


AGE: 25

2012 STATS: 12 games (2 starts), 6-for-8 passing (39 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions), 32 rushes (102 yards, 0 touchdowns)

INJURY STATUS: No known injuries.


WHY HE SHOULD MAKE IT: Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke highly of Tebow's personal characteristics following the team's decision to sign him in June, but what Tebow brings off the field would only be part of why the Patriots could decide to keep him on their 53-man roster. Tebow is past the point in his career where he's a developmental project at quarterback, but his athleticism could provide the Patriots value within their fast-paced offensive system. Because of that possibility, it's simply too early to write off Tebow's chances of earning a roster spot for the regular season.

WHY HE SHOULD NOT MAKE IT: The operative word when it comes to Tebow and the Patriots is "value," and precisely how much value Tebow would provide to New England. Roles on the 46-man game-day roster are precious, and Tebow's character off the field or simply his athleticism on the field won't be enough to justify making him active for games. As long as Ryan Mallett locks down the job backing up Tom Brady -- and it would be an upset if Tebow can push Mallett for that job -- then Tebow will need to earn his playing time through a well-defined role on special teams and in the offense. It will be an uphill battle.