For years, Patriots coach Bill Belichick has heaped praise on quarterback Tim Tebow. Now, the two have their first realistic chance of linking up on the field.

Tebow was released by the Jets yesterday and is expected to clear waivers this afternoon, which would make the three-year veteran a free agent for the first time in his career. If a team happened to claim him, it would assume the final two seasons of his rookie contract.

Sources were mum when questioned about any possible interest in a union between the Patriots and Tebow, though Belichick’s admiration for Tebow has been well-documented since before the 2010 draft, when Tebow visited Gillette Stadium. Belichick spoke highly of Tebow and has great insight on him dating back to the QB’s days at Florida, where he was coached by Urban Meyer, one of Belichick’s most trusted friends in the business.

And don’t look past the obvious connection of Tebow and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who traded three draft picks to select Tebow in the first round when he coached the Broncos. McDaniels has had a heavy hand in personnel decisions since rejoining the Pats in 2011, so his input on Tebow would be crucial if he hits free agency.

Last year, the Patriots added a handful of McDaniels’ former players, trading for wide receiver Greg Salas, signing wide receiver Brandon Lloyd and plucking tight end Michael Hoomanawanui from the Redskins practice squad. And last month, they signed receiver Danny Amendola for five years and up to $31 million. McDaniels was also responsible for the brief return of the fullback to the offense.