(Photo: Reuters/Tim Shaffer)
A poll of over 7,000 people has found that most believe popular Christian athlete Tim Tebow will be able to make the New England Patriots' 53-man roster and be on the team next season.
"It would be an interesting turnaround for Tebow," ESPN.com observed. "Just last week he was a player on the scrap heap that nobody wanted. Not even the talent-deprived New York Jets, who are rebuilding and need all the talent they can get, wanted nothing to do with Tebow on their roster. However, Tebow has a solid chance to make the 53-man roster of the Patriots, the reigning AFC East champs."
The online SportsNation poll, which as of Monday afternoon has over 7,800 votes, is still open and receiving votes. Sixty-eight percent of respondents so far have voted that they believe Tebow will make the roster, while 32 percent have said that he will be unable to do so.
The former Jets player received encouraging news earlier this month when it was announced that the Patriots were ready to give him a contract. ESPN noted, however, that the deal does not give Tebow any guaranteed money, and that the NFL franchise can cut him off without a penalty.
Still, Tebow has enjoyed the backing of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who praised the quarterback for his spirituality.
"For me personally, having Tim Tebow on this team, he's someone who believes in spirituality, he's very competitive and works hard, and has a great attitude, and he's a winner. So having him as part of our franchise is great, but he has to compete just like anyone else," Kraft said.
"We're blessed to have a lot of people like that, but the fact that spirituality is very important to him is very appealing to me," he added.
The Patriots, who won the Super Bowl Championship in 2001, 2003 and 2004, only had two quarterbacks last year, Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett. Tebow could possibly be slotted into the third quarterback position if he makes the roster.