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Tebow tops Forbes' 'Influential Athletes' List

Jets quarterback Tim Tebow talks to the media

Jets quarterback Tim Tebow talks to the media after the team's offseason workout at their practice facility in Florham Park, N.J. (May 10, 2012) Credit: Joe Epstein

Tim Tebow may not have a home in the NFL, but his mass appeal is undeniable.

The former Jets backup quarterback was ranked the most influential athlete in Forbes' 2013 poll -- followed by Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps, track star Usain Bolt and Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents labeled Tebow -- who spent the 2012 season as Mark Sanchez's seldom-used backup -- as "influential."

The survey from Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research tracked the professional athletes who carry the most influence among U.S. fans. Each athlete was also given an N-Score, Nielsen's measurement for a player's endorsement potential. Tebow's N-Score was 227, while Phelps received a 401, Bolt a 125 and Jeter a 184.

Tebow was released by the Jets last Monday and cleared waivers. He is now a free agent.

New York Sports