It is the most-ballyhooed signing of a potential third-string quarterback since, well, since the Eagles signed Michael Vick in 2009. When word leaked on Sunday night that the Eagles were signing quarterback Tim Tebow, a move that became official on Monday afternoon, the sports world exploded.
And, really, I get that.
But from inside the Eagles walls, all that matters to me is what kind of role might he play in the ever-changing quarterback picture for 2015. Tebow, who is here on a one-year deal and who has not played in the NFL since 2012, is keeping a low profile. There are no interviews scheduled. No press conferences planned. He's working as one of the roster hopefuls as the team opens its offseason conditioning program, Phase 1 of this offseason for the Eagles.
Tebow has no guarantees. His contract is minimum-issued-grade, by NFL standards. A workout on March 16 convinced the Eagles that Tebow - who has worked with a throwing coach, former major league baseball pitcher Tom House who is now a private quarterbacks coach - is worth a longer look. And so they signed him.
To take a longer look. Nothing more. Nothing less.
It obviously becomes something more if Tebow demonstrates that he can help head coach Chip Kelly win football games. Let's see if Kelly can take the good things that Tebow does - his mobility, his winning ways, his running skills, his anything-for-the-team attitude - and make Tebow a positive part of the 2015 charge.
Can it just be about football?
The quarterback situation is, admittedly, as fluid as it can be and as unsettled as it has been for the Eagles since the pre-Donovan McNabb days. In the years between Randall Cunningham and McNabb, Rodney Peete and Ty Detmer quarterbacked to a couple of 10-6 seasons and then the slide started and by the time Bobby Hoying took the reins in 1998, the Eagles were a sunken ship offensively.
McNabb steadied everything and, not so coincidentally, the Eagles became one of the best teams in the NFL, reaching the NFC Championship Game in four straight seasons and playing - sigh - in Super Bowl 39. McNabb's last hurrah came late in 2008 - as the Eagles reached the NFC Championship Game again - and in 2009 when he tossed 22 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions and the Eagles won 11 games.
And lost in the first round of the playoffs at Dallas, forcing a shuffling of the quarterback deck.
Since then, instability. Kevin Kolb and then Michael Vick and then Nick Foles and then Mark Sanchez have given it a go, and the Eagles have yet to win a playoff game. So Kelly has torn it all up, trading for Sam Bradford, adding Tebow with a no-risk, high-reward deal and smartly retaining Sanchez.
Stability is the goal here. In the big picture, the Eagles are going to have trouble going anywhere on a substantive basis without finding their answer at the game's most important position.
The options heading into the offseason were explored. The Eagles targeted Bradford, believing they had no real options in the draft with Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota expected to go among the top 1-6 players in the first round. Trade options? Bradford was the only one with the kind of upside the Eagles wanted who was attainable. Next year's draft? Nothing out there. Keep Foles? Good player, but was he really the right fit? Clearly, not the case.
So it's Bradford leading the way, working to get healthy and back on the field. Sanchez is ready to start and build on the performance from last season, his first game action since 2012. Tebow is here to compete with third-year man Matt Barkley, who has reportedly been on the trading block.
What is Tebow comes in and is absolutely terrible in the spring and summer? Well, then the Eagles say thanks for coming and good bye and they move on. If Tebow demonstrates that he can aid the cause, Kelly and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur draw up some packages to incorporate Tebow's skill set.
That's it. No hidden agenda. Seems like a relatively "no-frills" move if the quarterback the Eagles just signed wasn't named Tim Tebow. But it is Tebow and the Eagles are excited to take an extended look and see what he brings to the offensive table.
Why is there anything wrong with that?