Tim Tebow said ‘No, thanks’ to XFL invitation

Former Gators standout and Heisman Trophy winner prioritizes baseball career over another chance at playing professional football.
Tim Tebow, who is in spring training with the Mets, says he wants to be "all in" on baseball.
Tim Tebow, who is in spring training with the Mets, says he wants to be "all in" on baseball. [ Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Feb. 17, 2020

Tim Tebow confirmed Sunday that he declined an invitation to play in the XFL to continue his pursuit of a Major League Baseball career.

“Yeah, there was some communication,” the former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Florida and Mets farmhand told reporters with a chuckle as he reported to the team’s spring training camp in Port St. Lucie.

“For me, this is what I wanted to do, and pursue this and be all in,” said Tebow, 32, who will be entering his fourth season in professional baseball and has yet to reach the majors.

Tebow’s baseball career hasn’t offered much promise, He owns a career .223/.299/.338 slash line in three full minor-league seasons and hit just .163/.240/.255 in 77 games at the Triple-A level last season.

Had he joined the XFL, Tebow would have unquestionably been the league’s biggest star on notoriety alone. The league, which just completed its second week of play, is lacking in recognizable names.

Given some of the shoddy quarterback play throughout the first two weeks — including locally with the Tampa Bay Vipers, who have yet to score an offensive touchdown — Tebow might have been one of the XFL’s best players as well.

Instead, he decided to keep chasing his baseball dream. Despite saying no to the XFL, Tebow said the league is a good idea and hopes it succeeds.

“I love what they’re doing,” he said. “I think it has a chance to have success. I think that’s great. I think there needs to be a league for players who are really good, and should and could be playing in the NFL and ... there’s a chance they can be seen. So I think it’s awesome and is good for a lot of guys that are going to get a spot on NFL rosters because they’re going to show a team that they’re worth it.”

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at Follow @EddieInTheYard