Could Tim Tebow be coming to Las Vegas?
It was announced Thursday morning that the former NFL quarterback has signed a minor-league deal, which included a $100,000 signing bonus, with the New York Mets.
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 8, 2016
Tebow isn't a complete stranger to baseball. He played two seasons of baseball at Nease High School in Florida before choosing football over baseball.
The question now is where will the Mets send Tebow and could he eventually end up playing for the Las Vegas 51s.
According to the Mets general manager, the team did not sign Tebow as a publicity stunt. Sandy Alderson told ESPN that they are aware of the novel nature of the situation, but Tebow has demonstrated over his career that he is tremendous athlete and this is a classic player-development opportunity.
The Mets was actually one of 28 teams out of 30 to attend Tebow's showcase last week in Los Angeles.
According to the Washington Post, scouts who attended the showcase were uniform in their assessment that Tebow would need time in the minors. The Mets now have to figure out what the best path for the 29-year-old will be.
He will report on Sept. 18 to the Instructional League in Florida. From there, he could play for the Mets' low Class A affiliate, Columbia Fireflies in South Carolina, or their high-A team, St. Lucie Mets in Florida, depending on his performance. However, it would be unlikely that he will go straight to a Class AA team -- where true prospects go -- right away.
SportingNews.com is speculating that Tebow could eventually end up with the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s. SportingNews seems to think that the Mets will make sure Tebow gets to put on a show in Las Vegas because it's too appealing not to happen.
Tebow announced his desire to play baseball earlier this year. He has been working out with former big league catcher Chad Moeller in Scottsdale, Arizona, since Memorial Day to prepare for his showcase.
Tebow won the 2007 Heisman Trophy while at the University of Florida and played for the Gators' 2006 and 2008 national championship teams.
He was one of the best players in college football history but flamed out after fewer than 5 seasons in the NFL.
He played for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets from 2010 to 2012. He also attended training camps for the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles in 2013 and 2015 but never played in regular season for either team.
Regardless of his less than stellar career as a football, Tebow became a fan favorite. He became known for kneeling and praying on the football field. He did it so often that it became known as "Tebowing." He would often go on mission trips and talked openly about his faith but did not force his faith on anyone.
He was also respected by fellow football players for his work ethic and his refusal to give up.
Not everyone liked him though, of course. Some people didn't believe he was quite as humble as he presented himself and thought he received too much media attention and too many second chances.
Obviously, it remains to be seen if he can be a real baseball player. And if he does make it to Las Vegas, it will be interesting to see how he is received.