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Former NFL Quarterback Tim Tebow Signs With New York Mets, And You Can Watch Him Play In Port St. Lucie

Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow has signed a baseball contract with the Mets.

That doesn't mean we'll be seeing the football star playing for New York in the big leagues any time soon, but we can go watch him right here at Tradition Field as soon as mid-September.

The ESPN analyst and former NFL player has been signed as a Minor League outfielder and will participate in the organization's instructional league in Port St. Lucie, the Mets announced Thursday.

Florida's Fall Instructional League is a teaching league where early-career players go to develop their skills before rising in the ranks of the Minor Leagues, or where experienced MLB players go to learn a new position or rehabilitate after an injury. Games are played in September and October.

Tebow, who led the Florida Gators to two national titles as a college quarterback and was a first-round NFL Draft pick in 2010, hasn't played baseball since his junior year of high school in Ponte Vedra (a beach town up near Jacksonville). Reports of Tebow's interest in pursuing a professional baseball career first surfaced about a month ago, and he spent last week working out in front of scouts for 28 MLB teams.

Though Tebow's signing could very well lead to increased minor league merchandise and ticket sales for the Mets, general manager Sandy Alderson said the move is not meant to be a publicity stunt.

"While I and the organization, I think, are mindful of the novel nature of this situation, this decision was strictly driven by baseball," he said during a conference call, according to ESPN. "This was not something that was driven by marketing considerations or anything of the sort. We are extremely intrigued with the potential that Tim has. He has demonstrated over his athletic career that he is a tremendous athlete, has got character, a competitive spirit."

After his super-star college career, Tebow played professional football with the Denver Broncos and New York Jets. He also trained with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles in subsequent off-seasons but didn't make the full-time roster.

He will continue to work for ESPN as a college football analyst on SEC Network, according to a statement from ESPN's Senior Vice President of Event & Studio Production, Stephanie Druley. 

(Image via Wikimedia Commons/Clemed)