It is common knowledge for many NFL fans, and fans of the man himself, that the New England Patriots cut Tim Tebow in 2013, after the fourth preseason game. What most didn't realize was that Patriots coach Bill Belichick cut Tebow after persuading him to turn down a $1 million endorsement deal because it's not the kind of thing a team player would do if he wanted to play for the Pats.
As Yahoo's Shutdown Corner noted, Tebow appeared on Fox & Friends to promote his new book with a longish title called Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life's Storms and discussed a few of the anecdotes inside.
Here's Tebow's account of DeflateMyCheckingAccountGate in the book:
I wanted to play for him, work hard, and prove I was the right choice.
I remembered when I had signed with the team in June. Then I'd had an offer on the table to make a one-day appearance endorsing a product for a million-dollar paycheck. I'm sure you'd agree that a million bucks is a lot to make in just twenty-four hours. But I wasn't quick to say yes. 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 I 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 have probably said yes to the offer. But the thoughts he offered in our initial conversation mattered to me—even more than a million dollars.
Back to the conference room. "It's not the right fit," Coach Belichick said.
Belichick, you stone-cold snake! Truly, if there's ever a biopic, good or bad, made about Bill Belichick, it has to include the line: "Belichick, you goddamned snake!" Because who else does that? Costs the guy $1 million when you knew there was a good chance the Patriots weren't keeping him. And it's not like Tebow was 100 percent certain about his financial security. Again from Tebow's book:
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?'
"I remember flying to Jacksonville and sitting on the edge of the bed thinking, 'OK, I have no house, no car, no one wants me to do what I want to do, what do I do next?' And at moments like that, that's when you really find out what your identity is all about and what defines you.
Scary for him certainly, but also, as Touchdown Corner also notes, it's kind of funny that Tebow had it in his head that he would be winning "a bunch of Super Bowls" after Tom Brady retired which, as of 2016 and probably 2017, does not appear to be happening. No thanks to Belichick.