According to James Ellingworth of Russia Beyond The Headlines, Tebow has received an offer to play for a squad in Moscow for just two games that could net him a generous $1 million. “We have offered him $1 million for two games,” Moscow Black Storm owner Mikhail Zaltsman told RBTH. “I talked with him personally and he wanted to go.”
Despite Tebow's apparent desire to take the field for the Black Storm, his handlers appear to have a different plan for him that doesn't include the former Heisman Trophy winner playing football:
Just one obstacle stands in the way, Zaltsman says - Tebow’s agents. “They’re thinking of using him as a motivational speaker,” he said with a sigh. “They don’t want him to play football.”
Perhaps surprisingly for a team owner in a league even most American expats in Moscow have never heard of, Zaltsman is prepared to play hardball with Tebow. “He says that this is his top choice, but from what we know, it is his only choice,” Zaltsman says.
Tebow has expressed numerous times that it is his dream to become an NFL quarterback, and while that isn't exactly going well for the 26-year-old, don't expect Tebow to give up just yet. His people may want to use him as a motivational speaker, but Tebow isn't going to just go down like that and give in.
I would like to thank Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick, Coach McDaniels and the entire Patriots organization for giving me the opportunity...— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) August 31, 2013
...to be a part of such a classy organization. I pray for nothing but the best for you all. I will remain in relentless pursuit...— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) August 31, 2013
...of continuing my lifelong dream of being an NFL quarterback. 2 Corinthians 12:9: And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient...— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) August 31, 2013
However, 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.
The most important thing for Tebow at the moment is to prove to NFL teams that he deserves a chance. Even if he beats up on his competition in Moscow for two games, he will actually be moving backward instead of forward based on the lack of talent he is facing.
And should Tebow struggle with the Black Storm and not play up to par, his stock will drop even lower, and his dreams will be even further from reality.
Instead, Tebow should latch on with a team on this continent as either a starter or backup, depending on the deals out there.
CBS Sports reported earlier in the week that the Arena Football League's LA KISS offered Tebow a contract to play quarterback in the team's inaugural season that starts in March 2014. A deal like that would be perfect for Tebow, as he would be in a fairly competitive league with the opportunity to sharpen his skills and be the face of a franchise.
Furthermore, Tebow could potentially follow in the footsteps of one of the great quarterbacks in recent memory. Kurt Warner, whose first bid to land in the NFL failed, also spent some time in the AFL before coming to the NFL and winning a Super Bowl as the signal-caller for the St. Louis Rams.
It remains to be seen if Tebow will have the same success, but it sure wouldn't hurt to try in order to start building a resume that will make him a viable option to teams searching for a solution behind center.
If not the AFL, Tebow should try the Canadian Football League, which, again, is far more credible than playing in Moscow.
No matter what his path may be, Tebow needs to make the right move—not for money, but for himself and his career. If he wants to be an NFL quarterback, Tebow must start showing he is capable against more legit competition, and playing in Russia isn't the answer to that problem.