Tim Tebow was prepared to start baseball career before signing with Eagles

By Tim Kelly, Sports Talk Philly editor

Wednesday was the two-year anniversary of the Philadelphia Eagles signing Tim Tebow. Ironically, the baseball team that plays across the street from the Eagles, the Phillies, was playing Tebow's current employer, the New York Mets.

On the two-year anniversary of Tebow signing with the Eagles, which ultimately led to the team releasing him after the final preseason game, Tebow joined the MMQB podcast and said that he was in the process of beginning his baseball career when Chip Kelly and the Eagles called to ask him about playing football again: 

"I'm literally in the on-deck circle, and my brother hands me the phone and says, 'It's Chip.'" Tebow said. "I'm thinking [exhales] like really, I just got excited about this. And now he calls, and I'm torn again."

[Transcript via Sports Illustrated]

This call presumably came in early March, as the Eagles (rather shockingly) worked Tebow out on March 16, 2015. Over the course of the next month, Tebow probably switched back to training to play quarterback in the NFL, which is a rather drastic switch. The Eagles eventually signed Tebow on April 19, 2015

That Tebow was preparing for life after football at this time wasn't especially surprising. He was working with ESPN, but it's understandable that someone as athletically gifted as Tebow wasn't ready to give up being an athlete. Tebow's NFL career at this time appeared likely to be over, as he been given next to no chance to unseat a struggling Mark Sanchez with the New York Jets in 2012 and failed to make the New England Patriots prior to the 2013 season. After not even getting a chance to be in camp with a team for 2014, a call to join an NFL team seemed extremely unlikely in 2015. 

Of course, nothing was normal about Chip Kelly's first (and only) offseason with control of player personnel. Kelly traded franchise icon LeSean McCoy, released Trent Cole, Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans, allowed Jeremy Maclin to leave in free-agency, signed Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray and completed a trade that allowed the team to acquire Sam Bradford. Signing Tebow, which would have defined any other offseason, was simply one of the things that happened in the craziest offseason in team history. 

Trending: 4 Players to Root For During NFL Draft

In the interview, Tebow discussed how both he and many on the team had thought he had made the Eagles in 2015 following the team's fourth preseason game. That Tebow didn't make the team wasn't shocking, but it caught many off guard after the team traded Matt Barkley, who had been competing for the third-string quarterback position, to the Arizona Cardinals.

In the end, as much as Tebow may not have been cut out to succeed in the NFL, putting his baseball desires on hold for one more chance to play in the NFL was probably worth it. While Tebow has displayed some power (two home runs, nine RBIs in 45 at-bats), he's 29 and batting .156 for the Class A Columbia Fireflies. His chances of making it in the NFL, as small as they may have been, were better than the chances of him making it to the MLB. 

Go to top button