The Denver Broncos are expected to trade quarterback Tim Tebow to either the New York Jets or Jacksonville Jaguars by midday Wednesday, Orlando’s WKMG-TV reported, citing a source close to the NFL star.
The Denver Broncos reportedly are looking to part ways with the unconventional quarterback, having signed four-time MVP Peyton Manning.
The report says that while the Green Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins also were believed to be interested in acquiring Tebow, the trade talks are exclusively down to the Jets and Jaguars.
Tebow was expected to be dealt for a third-round pick.
The widely popular 24-year-old hails from Jacksonville, but the source said he would prefer playing time over a return to his home town.
New Jaguars owner Shahid Khan finished negotiating with Tebow’s representatives and the Broncos late Tuesday night, and the talks were expected to resume Wednesday morning.
The New York Post reported that the Jets had held serious internal discussions about trading for Tebow.
Tebow could give the Jets a new dimension at quarterback to complement starter Mark Sanchez. Tebow could run the wildcat formation, a favorite of head coach Rex Ryan and new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano.
A Post source said the Jets also think Tebow could have a positive effect in repairing their dysfunctional locker room.
The move would give the Jets a huge surge of interest. Members of the Jets organization have noticed what Jeremy Lin has done with the Knicks, and Tebow in New York could be even bigger.
FOX Sports reported Monday the Broncos had been quietly shopping Tebow since the NFL Scouting Combine in late February, trying to gauge interest around the league as they prepared to make a run for Manning.
Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway denied Tuesday having held formal talks with any team about the Heisman Trophy winner.
According to a close friend of Tebow, he prefers his next destination to be in Florida, where he came to fame playing for the Gators.
"Brad and I just had dinner with Tim last week and I don’t think this comes as a shock or surprise to him that Manning was actually going to go there," Monica Culpepper, the wife of former NFL and Florida Gators player Brad Culpepper, told 970 WFLA radio in Tampa on Tuesday.
"And in all honesty, Tim said, ‘I miss home. I miss the South. And hopefully I’ll land somewhere in Florida.’ "
The Jaguars are seen as a natural fit for the Jacksonville native and former Gators star, but the team has two quarterbacks in veteran Chad Henne and last year’s 10th overall pick, Blaine Gabbert.
But the acquisition of the 24-year-old Tebow would surely energize a franchise that has struggled with attendance in recent years.
Tebow led the Broncos on an improbable run to the AFC West title and a playoff victory last season, but he is also a quarterback whose throwing ability is still a work in progress.