Though he grew up in Jacksonville, Tim Tebow did not want the Broncos to trade him there, Jaguars owner Shahid Khan said Monday.
In an interview with The Florida Times-Union, Khan said the team was ready to make a better offer than the Jets, but opted against it because Tebow told the Broncos he preferred New York.
"That would have been the worst thing for Jacksonville and the worst thing for him," Khan said at the NFL’s annual league meetings.
"He didn’t want to come, obviously … Any one of the 53 players we have, have to be committed to Jacksonville, making us be the best team we are. The question was: Did he want to come? And if the decision had been taken out [of his hands] and we got him, that would not be good for him, or for us."
The Broncos have said the offers from the two teams were so close that they let Tebow decide where he wanted to go.
The Jets ended up sending Denver fourth and sixth round picks for Tebow and a seventh-rounder. Khan said if Tebow wanted to play for the Jaguars, the team would have been wiling to part with a third-round pick.
The Jaguars had also offered to pick up $3 million of Tebow’s $5 million advance salary, compared to the Jets ultimately paying $2.5 million.
Though Khan, who purchased the team in November, called Tebow "special to Jacksonville," he acknowledged the situation "turned out great" for the Jaguars, who selected quarterback Blaine Gabbert with the 10th pick in last year’s draft and recently signed veteran Chad Henne.
The immensely popular Tebow starred at Nease High School in Jacksonville, becoming one of the top quarterback recruits in the nation before going on to star at Florida.