Tim Tebow got a job offer to play professional football! For $1 million, no less. Oh, yes, he did -- believe it or not. However, the offer didn't come from the National Football League, that organization of 32 pro teams that spurned him and to which he so longs to return some day as a starting quarterback. No, he was offered a job with a Russian professional football team. And the beauty of the deal? It's only for two games.
"Two games?" some might ask. "What's the catch?"
The Inquistr reported Sept. 16 that there apparently is none. Tim Tebow is also a famous name in Russia and the owner of the Moscow Black Storm, Mikhail Zaltsman, has offered the former Florida Gators standout and Heisman Trophy winner a job for a couple games to boost ticket sales and perhaps lead the Black Storm to the league's championship. In fact, the Black Storm are already in the playoffs.
“We have offered him $1 million for two games,” Moscow Black Storm owner Mikhail Zaltsman told Russia Beyond The Headlines. “I talked with him personally and he wanted to go.”
Zaltsman wants Tebow to take his team and hopefully win the American Football Championship of Russia, which is to be held next month. He would like for Tebow to fly to Moscow for the semifinal game against the Moscow Patriots on Sept. 28.
But Zaltsman thinks the recent New England Patriots cast-off will be stopped by his agents. He said that the agents are moving the young man toward motivational speaking. Still, Zaltsman said Tebow told him that the Russian team was his "top choice, but from what we know, it is his only choice.”
Bobby Rome, the man who would be the opposing quarterback for the Moscow Patriots should Tebow decide to take the offer, told Russia Beyond The Headlines he doesn't expect the former Broncos-Jets-Patriots quarterback to come to Russia simply because it "would make a lot of [NFL] teams more apprehensive about signing him.”
There are others who don't think it is a good idea for Tebow to head east. The Bleacher Report notes that Tebow is already a "sideshow" and that going to Russia would be a no-win situation for him. If he played well and demolished his opposition, he'd be seen as moving backward in his career. But if he got beat or played poorly, his credibility as a quarterback could take a hit.
And then there are the fans in Jacksonville that rallied to get the team's front office to hire Tebow to bolster the 0-2 Jaguars. But there are those arguing that hiring Tebow would simply be a sales gimmick to sell tickets and merchandise because the Jaguars need a lot more than a motivational speaker at quarterback to start winning games. Besides, Jacksonville has already been down this path this year and team officials and the team's owner all said that they weren't interested in signing Tim Tebow.
Not only that, but if the Jaguars did hire him, they would only have to pay him $715,000 (salary based on experience per union contract) for the rest of the season.
Moscow just might be looking a bit more inviting -- at least for the next few weeks. Because $500,000 per game certainly beats 14 games at just a bit over $51,000 per game. But sometimes it just isn't about the money. And yet, given the reception that he's gotten in the NFL, it probably should be. It's unlikely he'll get an offer comparable to the Russia deal anytime soon.