Atlanta Braves Interested in Signing Former Football Star Tim Tebow

The embattled ex-quarterback could be a profitable acquisition for the team.

ByMichael Edison Hayden
September 04, 2016, 1:36 PM
PHOTO: Former NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow throws a ball for baseball scouts and the media during a showcase on the campus of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Aug. 30, 2016.
Former NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow throws a ball for baseball scouts and the media during a showcase on the campus of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Aug. 30, 2016.
Chris Carlson/AP Photo

— -- The Atlanta Braves have "definite interest" in signing former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, possibly for a minor league deal, according to a report by ESPN.

The Braves were among the 28 MLB teams that sent scouts to observe a workout held at Dedeaux Field at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles to showcase Tebow's abilities in a sport he hasn't played since he was a high school junior.

A baseball source told ESPN that representatives for five teams spoke one-on-one with Tebow following the event, and that the Braves specifically showed interest.

The Chicago Cubs and the Oakland Athletics were the only major league teams that didn't attend the workout.

Tebow, now 29, may face a steep climb to become a successful professional baseball player. Players on average usually debut at the major league level in their mid-20s, and Tebow may require seasoning in the minor leagues.

Basketball legend Michael Jordan similarly attempted to make the crossover to baseball in 1994, and struggled mightily as a member of Birmingham Barons, a minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. He returned to the NBA full-time one year later. He never had an at bat at the major league level.

PHOTO: Florida quarterback Tim Tebow reacts after the Gators defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 49-10 at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on November 1, 2008, in Jacksonville, Florida.
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow reacts after the Gators defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 49-10 at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on November 1, 2008, in Jacksonville, Florida.
Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/MCT/Getty Images

Scouting reports of Tebow's performance were mixed, although observers said he demonstrated impressive power at the workout, crushing several long home runs.

Tebow became a college football star at the University of Florida in 2007, winning the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore. A year later, he led the Gators to a dominant 13–1 record and a national championship.

He played three years in the NFL for the Denver Broncos, New York Jets and New England Patriots.

Tebow has been a magnet for fans who may be either fascinated, admiring, appalled or critical of the player's outspokenness on his religious beliefs and socially conservative views.

He garnered fans among Christian conservatives for praying during games, and advertising bible verses on his eye-black. As a graduate of a home schooling, he is also frequently touted as a success story by advocates of that educational method.

He has also drawn attention for a pledge of abstinence he made as a younger player, something that has drawn considerable interest from tabloids.

The Atlanta Braves, who this season have the second worst record in baseball and are working to rebuild their roster, may consider the potential marketing gain of signing Tebow to a minor league deal.

ESPN's Pedro Gomez and Jerry Crasnick and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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