Former NFL star Tebow agrees to contract with MLB's Mets

NEW YORK (AP) " Having flopped with the New York Jets, Tim Tebow will try to revive his career as an outfielder with the Mets.

Four years removed from his last regular-season snap as an NFL quarterback, the 29-year-old Tebow agreed Thursday to a minor league contract with baseball's Mets that includes a $100,000 signing bonus.

He will report Sept. 18 to the Instructional League in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and test his baseball skills for three weeks against players just months removed from high school and college.

The Mets then will decide whether he goes to the Arizona Fall League, a winter baseball league or gets personal tutoring to prepare for spring training.

Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan are the only significant players to have extensive careers in both Major League Baseball and the NFL during the past three decades.

"We don't have to listen to what everybody else wants us to do with our lives," Tebow said during a telephone conference call. "We get to do what we want."

The amount of Tebow's signing bonus " the maximum before the Mets could incur a tax under baseball's labor contract " was obtained by The Associated Press from a person familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because the figure was not announced.

"We're mindful of the fact that at age 29, Tim is starting this endeavor and there is a certain amount of realism that we have to accept," Alderson said. "While I, and the organization, I think, are mindful of the novel nature of this situation, this decision was strictly driven by baseball."

"This was not something that was driven by marketing considerations or anything of the sort. We are extremely intrigued with the potential that Tim has. He has demonstrated over his athletic career that he is a tremendous athlete, has great character, a competitive spirit."

Tebow won college football's Heisman Trophy in 2007 at the University of Florida and played for the Gators' 2006 and 2008 national championship teams. The Denver Broncos selected him with the 25th pick in the 2010 NFL draft and he signed a contract that guaranteed $8.7 million over five years.

Known for his Christian faith, kneeling and praying, Tebow became the Broncos' starter late in the 2010 season, held the job for much of 2011, then was traded to the Jets. He was a backup for 2012, was released and later was let go during preseason by New England in 2013 and Philadelphia in 2015.

Tebow hasn't played baseball regularly since his high school days in Ponte Vedra, Florida, where he hit .494.

He thought outfield and first base were his most likely positions.

"I would consider success giving everything I have," Tebow said. "I would consider success putting in the work and looking back on this opportunity and this journey 10, 15, 20 years from now and saying that I gave everything I had, I did everything I could do to be the best that I could be. I don't necessarily view success or failure as how many rings or championships or promotions you get."

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AP sports writers Jake Seiner and Dennis Waszak Jr. contributed to this report.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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