The Broncos say the original deal to trade Tebow and a seventh-round pick to the Jets for a fourth-round pick and a sixth-round pick in the 2012 draft is in place. The Jets have also agreed to pay half of the $5 million due Tebow as part of his contract.
As part of Tebow's $11.25 million, five-year contract he signed as a rookie in 2010, he had a $6.277 million advance due 29 days after the start of the 2011 league year. That money was paid to him in August after the NFL lockout ended. The trade hit the hang-up when the Jets apparently balked at repaying the Broncos more than $5 million for the 2012-14 seasons from that advance.
The Denver Post reports the Jets agreed to reimburse the Broncos $2.53 million.
Speaking on a conference call late Wednesday night, Tebow says he's thankful the Jets stuck with him through "this whole crazy process."
"I don't have any question marks. I just want to be a guy in that locker room that tries to be a good teammate. One who works very hard. Be someone who goes out there and tries to earn the other players' respect by the way I go about my business, how I work hard and just try and be a great teammate and support everyone else in that locker room is my ultimate goal," Tebow said.
"It will be exciting to be in the New York market. It will be fun because the people are so passionate and care so much and that will be extremely exciting," Tebow said. "The support in Denver and the fans were great. It's great to have that much support and it's going to be exciting and I am looking forward to how crazy the market is in New York."
A message was posted on the Facebook page for Tebow's foundation earlier on Wednesday: "God has opened a new door and we look forward to adding New York to the list of cities that we serve!"
"Tim Tebow deserves an enormous amount of credit for what he accomplished and how he carried himself during his time with the Broncos. From taking over a 1-4 team and leading it to the playoffs to energizing our fans and this community, Tim left an extraordinary mark on this organization. His time in Denver will always hold a special place in Broncos history," Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway said in a statement. "As a former player, I know the last two weeks were not easy for Tim. He was put in a difficult situation, and I commend him for how he handled it with the same first-class manner he displayed throughout his career in Denver. Our goal was to do the best thing for Tim and the Broncos, and I believe the opportunity that presented itself with the New York Jets accomplishes that objective. Tim made a lot of strides last year and has a very promising career ahead of him. If anyone is willing to put the work in to be great, it's Tim Tebow. I have a great deal of respect for Tim and the positive impact he makes both on the field and in the community. He has a bright future in this league, and I'm hopeful he will enjoy continued success with the Jets."
"Tim Tebow brought an incredible spirit and spark to our team that helped us turn the season around. Along the way, he earned the trust of his teammates and coaches while inspiring our fans. His competitiveness, clutch performances and will to win played an instrumental role in our team earning a division title and advancing in the playoffs," Broncos head coach John Fox said in a statement released by the team. "Tim works as hard as any player I've ever coached, and that work ethic will continue to serve him well with the Jets. He goes out to practice early, stays late and comes in on his day off. Tim does everything in his power to get better. He's not afraid to work, and we saw the results of his commitment last season. For good reason, Tim has always had a great following. He handled that aspect exceptionally during the amazing run we had. The poise and focus Tim displayed were remarkable and speak volumes for the strength of his character. A player and person like Tim don't come around very often. He is real and he walks the walk. I'm looking forward to watching him continue his career with the Jets, and I wish him the very best."
The Jets announced early Wednesday that they had agreed in principle to acquire Tebow for draft pick as a complement to starter Mark Sanchez.
According to the Post, the Jacksonville Jaguars had offered the Broncos a fourth round pick, but the Jets' offer lets the Broncos move up 40-some picks from the late seventh to the middle of the sixth round.
The Broncos now have seven picks in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Jaguars spokesman Dan Edwards has declined comment.
"We want to go where somebody wants him - that's where he wants to be," Robby Tebow said. "We'll figure it out. They're working on the contract; all those guys doing what they're paid to do."
ESPN first reported that provisions in the quarterback's contract are causing complications in the completion of the trade.
The hang-up came hours after the Jets declared they were bringing the polarizing quarterback to New York. It's just another bizarre moment for the Jets, a team that has had its share of them over the years, conjuring memories of Bill Belichick's hiring as coach and his resignation one day later.
"I'd expect nothing less than drama from Tim Tebow," USA Today NFL reporter Jarrett Bell told 9NEWS.
Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath, who led the Jets to their only Super Bowl title in 1969, was among those unhappy with the deal.
"I'm just sorry that I can't agree with this situation. I think it's just a publicity stunt. I can't go with it. I think it's wrong," Namath told 1050 ESPN Radio. "I don't think they know what they're doing over there."
"Tebowmania" likely will now take over New York, just a few weeks after "Linsanity" swept the New York area and the rest of the NBA with the Knicks' sensational Jeremy Lin.
Tebow, who became expendable when the Broncos signed Peyton Manning to a five-year deal Tuesday, is expected to complement Sanchez, who received a $40.5 million contract extension, with $20.5 million guaranteed, earlier this month. Rex Ryan's Jets also had pursued Manning before bowing out on the sweepstakes when there was little interest by the four-time NFL MVP.
Tebow led the Broncos to the playoffs last season - along the way beating Sanchez and the Jets, who missed the postseason. But Denver executive John Elway believed Manning gave the team a better chance at winning a championship now.
For the Jets, Tebow can add a versatile dimension to the offense, including running the team's wildcat package - something new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano enjoys using. He can also provide a solid presence in a locker room that was rife with infighting last season - particularly between Sanchez and wide receiver Santonio Holmes.
Tebow brings with him a flock of fervent fans for reasons that have to do as much with his faith as his football skills. A devout Christian, he's been a role model since his days at Florida, when he led the Gators to two national titles and captured the Heisman Trophy.
The Jaguars and general manager Gene Smith showed little interest in Tebow coming out of college in 2010, even though he grew up in Jacksonville and starred at nearby Florida. They passed on Tebow with the No. 10 pick, instead selecting defensive tackle Tyson Alualu. Tebow went to Denver at No. 25.
Last season, Jacksonville traded up to draft Blaine Gabbert and called him a "franchise quarterback." Gabbert struggled mightily, and the team blamed his problems on receivers and coaching.
"I think the Jacksonville Jaguars represent a better option than the Jets," Bell told 9NEWS. "To go home where he's beloved is just part of the equation. In Jacksonville, he'll have the opportunity to win the starting job from [Blaine] Gabbert."
Coach Jack Del Rio was fired in November, the same day the team was sold to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan. Before the Super Bowl, Khan said in a radio interview that he would have drafted Tebow and indicated he would consider bringing in Tebow if he became available.
"I share your sentiment," Khan said to a caller who said he hoped the Jaguars would consider Tebow. "When is the next time Jacksonville is gonna have an athlete like Tim Tebow?"
It's pretty clear that any interest the Jaguars had in Tebow is coming from the owner and not the front office. Although the Jaguars haven't blacked out a home game since 2009, they have had trouble filling the stadium while missing the playoffs 10 of the last 12 years.
Tebow certainly would have helped, even if he was brought in to boost ticket sales and make the franchise relevant nationally for the first time since beating Pittsburgh in the playoffs in 2008.
But Jacksonville has no pressing need for another quarterback. The Jaguars signed Chad Henne to be the team's backup last week and have Dan LeFevour on the roster.
The Jets, too, have a few quarterbacks on the roster.
The Jets signed Stanton last week to be their No. 2 quarterback, ahead of Greg McElroy, the team's seventh-round draft pick last year. General manager Mike Tannenbaum said Tuesday that he was confident in the trio, but added: "I'll give you my standard answer, which is you never know if other opportunities present themselves. We'll always look at it. That's the standard line there, but we feel good about Greg, Drew and Mark, and see where we go from there."
On Tuesday, Sanchez spoke highly of both Tebow and Manning on Fox Sports Radio in Los Angeles.
"I think Peyton is going to do great, and I think Tim is going to do great no matter what happens," Sanchez said on "The Petros & Money Show." "He can learn from one of the best quarterbacks to ever play or he moves on somewhere else and uses his skills at another ball club. He definitely has talent. He knows how to win. He knows how to impact players, so both guys are really in a good situation. It'll work out for both of them."
The effect Tebow's presence will have on Sanchez remains to be seen. The Jets appear to be committed to him financially as their starter for at least the next two years, but a restless fan base that got down on Sanchez as he struggled late last season could call for Tebow to take over at the first sign of trouble.
Two minutes after the Jets posted the trade on its Facebook page, there were 874 "likes," 366 comments and 247 shares. Most of the comments ran along the lines of: "I might cry" and "He is not welcome here, another terrible decision."
Tebow's days were numbered in Denver when Manning chose the Broncos as his next destination. They are two entirely different quarterbacks and it made little sense to keep Tebow as a backup because the Broncos were going to have a vastly different offense under Manning, one of the most precise passers in league history.
Elway and Broncos coach John Fox called Tebow on Monday night to tell him it was possible he would be traded.
Elway said he wanted to do right by Tebow, who took over a 1-4 team and led the Broncos to the AFC West title and a playoff win over Pittsburgh.
Tebow played 23 games, with 14 starts, for the Broncos in two seasons and completed 167-of-353 passes (47.3 percent) for 2,838 yards with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions. That gave him a 75.1 rating. He added 165 rushes for 887 yards (5.4 avg.) with 12 touchdowns on the ground. In two playoff games, Tebow completed 19-of-47 passes (40.4 percent) for 452 yards with two touchdowns (90.0 rtg.) in addition to rushing 15 times for 63 yards (4.2 avg.) and one score.
In his second NFL season in 2011, Tebow took over as Denver's starting quarterback after Week 5 and led the Broncos to a 7-4 record down the stretch to capture their first AFC West Division title since 2005. He threw for a career-high 316 yards with two touchdowns in Denver's 29-23 overtime win against Pittsburgh in its AFC Wild Card Game.
Tebow, who was selected by Denver in the first round (25th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft from the University of Florida, executed six fourth-quarter comebacks in 14 career starts with the Broncos, including five in 2011 to tie Eli Manning and Alex Smith for the NFL lead. He also is tied with Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez for the third-most games (7) with at least one passing and one rushing touchdown since 2010.
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