Tim Tebow has made a home in the New York Mets system, but that didn’t stop XFL commissioner Oliver Luck from exploring a return to football.
Tim Tebow hasn’t thrown a pass in an NFL-sanctioned event since 2015. Since then, he has been a mainstay in the New York Mets’ minor league system. That apparently hasn’t stopped the powers that be at the reborn XFL from discussing a return to the gridiron.
Sports Illustrated’s exposé on XFL commissioner Oliver Luck revealed that Tebow was briefly consulted about reverting to quarterbacking. The article, written by Dan Greene, briefly documents Luck’s meeting with Tebow at January’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game. According to Greene, Luck mentioned the possibility of partaking in the rebooted spring league.
XFL fans shouldn’t hold their breath.
The odds of the XFL landing the NFL’s more prominent castoffs, though, seem slight,” Greene writes. “Luck ran into Tim Tebow at the Clemson-Alabama national title game in January and says he informally gauged the 31-year-old’s interest in getting under center again, but Tebow reaffirmed his commitment to baseball.”
Tebow, 31, has been in the Mets’ minor league system since 2016. He has spent this season one level below the Major League level in AAA Syracuse. Entering Tuesday night’s action, Tebow was batting .130 with no home runs and eight runs batted in.
To his baseball credit, Tebow had been an All-Star during his tenure with AA Binghamton last summer. He averaged a career-high .273 with the Rumble Ponies to go with six home runs and 36 RBI’s over 84 games. His 2017 season was cut short with a July hand injury that required surgery. Prior to joining the Mets organization, Tebow last played competitive baseball in 2005, his junior year of high school.
Tebow’s last football experience came in 2015. He spent that year’s preseason with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, but did not make the opening week roster. His last NFL regular season action came in 2012 as a member of the New York Jets. Tebow’s lone Jets season followed two years in Denver.
The Broncos facilitated his professional entry, drafting the Florida alum with the final pick of the 2010 draft’s first round. His Denver stint featured 16 starts, including a pair of postseason games. Tebow’s most famous NFL moment came in the 2012 AFC Wild Card playoffs when he led Denver to an overtime victory over Pittsburgh.
Football hasn’t fully excused itself from Tebow’s career. The two-time Heisman Trophy winner serves a college football analyst on ESPN’s SEC Network during the offseason.
Though Luck’s XFL may not feature Tebow, it’s hard to deny the progress the league has made in preparation for its February 2020 debut. This week, the league announced its media partnerships with ABC, Fox, ESPN, and Fox Sports 1. They also revealed former NFL assistant Winston Moss as the head coach and general manager of their Los Angeles franchise. The XFL will feature eight squads in its revival, including one in New York.
The resurrected XFL appears to be a revival in name only. Both Luck and chairman Vince McMahon (who oversaw the ill-fated original edition in 2001) have stated this new league will steer away from the gimmicks prevalent the first time around. Despite this, the league is working on new ways to differentiate their games from a typical football setting.
With Tebow likely sticking to baseball, the XFL will continue to explore ways to attract players. For example, whereas the NFL requires incoming rookies to be at least three years removed from high school, rumors have circulated the league could welcome in college players seeking to enter the pros early.
This would potentially open the door for Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence to join. Lawrence capped off a stellar true freshman season with numerous accolades, including a sizable victory in the National Championship Game over Alabama.