Could Tim Tebow be headed for the playing fields of Mother Russia?
A new report published by English-language blog Russia Behind The Headlines (RBTH) alleges that the 26-year-old quarterback, recently released by the New England Patriots, has been offered $1 million to play a limited number of games as part of a Russian football tournament.
The RBTH report, first published on September 9th, was followed by a second post on September 14th. That story included an interview with Moscow Black Storm owner Mikhail Zaltsman, who confirmed an offer has been extended.
“We have offered him $1 million for two games,” Zaltsman told RBTH. “I talked with him personally and he wanted to go.”
Zaltsman hopes to fly the former Heisman Trophy winner to Moscow to play in his team's semifinal match against rival the Moscow Patriots on Sept. 28, according to RBTH. If the the Black Storm wins its match against the Patriots, Tebow would stay on to play in the tournament's final as well.
Details of this story are hard to pin down, however. For one thing, there doesn't appear to be a web page for the Russian football tournament, and a site for a similar league hasn't been updated since 2012.
Even if the offer is legitimate, Bleacher Report notes that "a move to Moscow is the last thing Tebow needs:"
He is already viewed as a media- and fan-created sideshow thanks to nonstop coverage on television and a huge following based on his achievements in college alone. Playing in an even lesser football league than the secondary ones in North America won't do anything to help his already diminished credibility.
It's been a rocky few years for the outspokenly-religious athlete. After becoming a fan favorite with the Denver Broncos, he endured a tumultuous season with the New York Jets. After he was released by the Jets, Tebow was picked up by the New England Patriots but was subsequently released in the preseason.
He has also been offered a contract to play the Arena Football League's LA KISS as the signal caller for the team's inaugural season beginning March 2014, reports CBS Sports.