Tebow turned down $1 million endorsement because Bill Belichick told him to
Tim Tebow writes in his new book, titled Shaken, that New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick once talked him out of accepting a $1 million endorsement deal.
In the book, which was published in October, Tebow recounts how he tried hard to fit in with the team when he joined the Patriots in 2013. After being selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Broncos, Tebow had experienced varying degrees of success in the NFL. He signed on with the Patriots in 2013 after being released by the Jets after the 2012 season, and writes in the book that he and Belichick had discussed what he would have to do to succeed on the team.
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.
Two months later, Tebow again found himself in a conference room with Belichick, only this time Belichick was explaining that he didn't fit with the team, rather than discussing how to make him blend in.
I thought of the endorsement deal I had turned down two months earlier, questioning and maybe even regretting my decision. Was it the wrong choice? If I had said yes, would that have put me in a better situation than where I am right now—sitting in front of two coaches who are firing me without telling me exactly why?
Then, the meeting was over.
Tebow said this week in an interview with Fox & Friends that he does not regret his decision today.
“That’s not something that I look back and regret at all,” Tebow said. “It was me trying to honor the team, and if I could do it again, I would’ve done the same thing.”
Tebow has not played in the NFL since he spent the preseason with the Eagles in 2015 and is now playing baseball in the New York Mets farm system.