Tim Tebow, XFL had 'some communication' about playing in league

Former college football star transitioned to baseball career with NY Mets

Former college football star Tim Tebow said Sunday he rebuffed an offer to play in the rebooted XFL in order to continue his pursuit of a career in Major League Baseball.

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Tebow, 32, developed a massive following among football fans while winning two national championships as a quarterback at the University of Florida. After a brief stint in the NFL, Tebow transitioned to a career in baseball and has spent the last four seasons as an outfielder in the New York Mets’ minor league system.

Speaking at the Mets’ spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida, Tebow said he had “some communication” with the XFL about potentially joining a roster. While Tebow expressed support for the XFL as a concept, he said he ultimately decided to stick with baseball.

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New York Mets left fielder Tim Tebow poses for a photo on photo day at First Data Field. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

"I think there needs to be a place for a lot of players that are really good, and should and could be playing in the NFL, and are better than a lot of NFL players,” Tebow said, according to SNY. “There's a chance they're going to be seen. So I think it's awesome, and I think it's good for a lot of guys that are going to get a spot on an NFL roster because they're going to show a team they're worth it. But for me, this is what I wanted to do and pursue it, and be all in."

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The Denver Broncos selected Tebow in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Tebow lasted just two seasons in Denver and hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since the 2012 season.

This isn’t the first time that a startup football league has attempted to lure Tebow back to the sport. In 2019, Tebow said he declined an offer to play in the short-lived Alliance of American Football, which folded after less than one season.

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It’s unclear if Tebow’s talks with XFL officials progressed to an actual contract offer. XFL players will earn an average of $55,000 for the 2020 season, with select players, such as star quarterbacks, earning up to $500,000.

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By comparison, the NFL’s minimum salary for the 2020 season is $510,000. Tebow earned nearly $10 million in salary and bonuses during his NFL career, according to Spotrac.

Tebow hit just .163 while playing at the Triple-A level during the 2019 season and is not considered a viable MLB prospect. However, his cult following has translated into increased ticket sales at various stops throughout his career in minor league baseball.

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