Tim Tebow may be leaving behind dreams of the NFL to join a Russian football team.
The former Heisman Trophy winner is reportedly talking with the owner of the Moscow Black Storm, who offered Tebow $1 million to play in the team’s two playoff games later this month.
Mikhail Zaltsman made the offer, but an interview afterward made it seem as if Tebow were lukewarm on the offer.
“I talked with him personally and he wanted to go,” Zaltsman told Russia Beyond The Headlines. “[His agents are] thinking of using him as a motivational speaker. They don’t want him to play football.”
But new reports may indicate a change of heart for Tebow. This week news outlet ITAR-TASS reported that Tebow may sign with the Black Storm after all.
“Negotiations are still underway,” said Dmitry Popkov, the president of the Black Storm. “First we offered him a certain amount, then this amount increased. It will be clear after September 20 whether Tebow will come here. Our owner is in talks with managers and agents of this player. The funds have already been transferred — the ball is in Tim Tebow’s court now.”
But as CBS Sports writer Ryan Wilson found, Tebow may have already signed with the team. Wilson found that ITAR-TASS originally had a different headline for its story and details saying Tebow had signed a two-game contract.
“Even our adversaries are thrilled about Tebow visiting Russia. Everyone expects these two games to be very festive,” Popov said in the now-deleted version of the story.
Back in America, Tim Tebow hasn’t given up hope of playing in the NFL. This week he was seen going through throwing drills at USC, and in Jacksonville a group of Jaguars fans held a rally to get the team to sign the hometown quarterback.
If Tim Tebow does decide to play football in Russia, he’ll have a chance to add a championship to his Heisman Trophy. The Football Championship of Russia takes place on September 28.