Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Tim Tebow passes during the second half...

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Tim Tebow passes during the second half of a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015, in Philadelphia. Credit: AP / Michael Perez

Tim Tebow said giving up baseball after his junior year of high school was one of the hardest decisions of his life, and that he has repeatedly felt the pull of the national pastime.

That’s why he nearly launched his transition last season, when a phone call from former Eagles coach Chip Kelly changed his plans.

“Honestly, it’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a little while and came close to pulling the trigger on last year,” Tebow said on Thursday in a conference call. “Actually, when I was in the middle of going through training for baseball, Chip Kelly called. So then I had to figure that out. I was getting ready to go down the baseball road and I had this opportunity with the Eagles.”

Tebow hadn’t taken a snap in an NFL game since 2012 with the Jets. Yet, he insisted that scrapping his baseball plans for the Eagles was not a given.

“It wouldn’t have necessarily been any football opportunity that I would have taken,” he said. “But I figured with coach Kelly and his offense, it might fit me really well. So, I decided to go do that. We all know how that turned out. And so, after that, I started doing a little training. But then after the season, I really picked it up, and so now we’re here.”

Tebow lost his bid to become the Eagles’ third-string quarterback and was released before the start of the season.

Tebow began working out under the tutelage of Chad Moeller, the former big-league catcher and one-time Yankee who runs a baseball academy in Scottsdale, Arizona. He stepped up his efforts around Memorial Day for a well-attended scouting showcase last week, in which Tebow heeded a call that he said never truly went away.

“Every year, I’d be watching it on TV and I’d be around the country, maybe at different events or speaking engagements, and there would be a team out there doing BP,” Tebow said. “I might hop in with them or something and I always missed it. I just loved the sport. There was a lot of times that I missed it and I would have loved to have been playing. But I think everything happens for a reason.”


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