PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tim Tebow is $1 million poorer for listening to Bill Belichick.
In his new book titled “Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms,” the former Heisman-winning quarterback wrote about a conversation he had with the New England Patriots head coach about a $1 million endorsement deal he was offered.
“When I came on the team, Coach and I had a long and deep talk. ‘I want to make you one of the guys,’ he told me. ‘This is not going to be a media circus. I’ll control it if you do your part. You’re part of a team, Timmy. We’re in this together.’
“So when the offer for the one-day commercial turned up, I was sure to discuss the opportunity with him. ‘I want to know what you think, Coach,’ I said. I respect you and want to fit in. I want to be one of the guys. Should I do it?
“He thought for a moment and then shook his head. ‘Timmy, I would really appreciate it if you didn’t.’
“Highly respecting the man, I turned down the deal. I didn’t even think twice about it. I wanted the chance to impress Coach Belichick more than I wanted the money. I’ll say that if I were on any other team, I would probably said yes to the offer. But the thoughts he offered in our initial conversation mattered to me – even more than a million dollars.”
Belichick then cut Tebow before the start of the 2013 season.
In an interview with “Fox and Friends” this earlier this week, Tebow said he doesn’t regret turning down the endorsement deal.
“I didn’t want to be a distraction on the team. I wanted to be another guy in the locker room, someone that could work, someone that could be a backup to Tom [Brady]. I don’t want to be a distraction, having stuff all over the headlines,” Tebow said on “Fox and Friends.” “So that’s why I called Coach Belichick to say, ‘Hey, what do you think about this? This is a great opportunity that I would say yes to, but I want to do what’s right for the team first.’ He appreciated me calling, but said, ‘Hey, listen, I would prefer if you didn’t do it.’ So of course I didn’t because I put the team first.”
Tebow also admitted he thought he was going to “win a bunch of Super Bowls” with the Patriots.
“It’s difficult because it also cuts into your pride, it cuts into your goals, it cuts into your dreams, and when all of that feels like it’s shaken, how do you react? How do you handle it?” Tebow said. “And, for me, I felt like, ‘Hey, going to the Patriots was gonna be a dream come true.’ Play under Tom Brady, and then when he retires, we’ll go play for Belichick and win a bunch of Super Bowls, and that was my goal. That’s what I thought was gonna happen, and then you get cut and it’s like, ‘Hey, what do I do next?’”
The Philadelphia Eagles also gave Tebow a shot but he was cut before the start of the 2015 season.
He is currently trying his hand at baseball as he signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets.
The Denver Broncos drafted Tebow in the first round in 2010. He led the Broncos to the playoffs in 2011 before being traded to the New York Jets prior to the 2012 season.