The Broncos’ attempt to trade quarterback Tim Tebow to the New York Jets, as first reported by FOXSports.com, was completed Wednesday evening after hitting a potential snag almost as soon as it was announced earlier in the day. Broncos head coach John Fox confirmed that the deal had been finalized.
Tebow’s contract specifies any team that acquires the quarterback has to kick back $5.06375 million to the Broncos in advanced salaries from the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons, but Jets management noticed the stipulation only after agreeing to the deal, The Denver Post reported.
The Broncos and Jets will split the money in question to get the deal done, according to sources.
The Post originally reported that the Broncos would also receive a fourth- and sixth-round pick in exchange for Tebow and a seventh-round pick.
"Like he was signed, sealed and delivered," Robby Tebow, the quarterback’s brother and day-to-day manager, told The Associated Press while playing in the Arnold Palmer Invitational pro-am at Bay Hill in Orlando, Fla. "Apparently, they didn’t read the fine print."
Multiple reports earlier indicated the Jacksonville Jaguars might be in the mix to acquire Tebow if the Jets’ deal broke down.
The deal — which was facilitated by Denver’s signing of Peyton Manning to a five-year, $96 million contract —spells the end to one of the wildest chapters in the franchise’s 52-year history.
One of the NFL’s most popular players since being drafted by the Broncos in 2010, Tebow was promoted into the starting lineup ahead of the struggling Kyle Orton six games into last season. Although the unorthodox Tebow completed only 46.5 percent of his passes, his penchant for big plays and late-game heroics helped propel Denver to an AFC West title and first-round overtime playoff victory against Pittsburgh. Tebow also helped energize a Broncos fan base that was becoming increasingly frustrated at the franchise’s ineptitude over the previous two seasons.
Tebow, though, didn’t show enough promise as a traditional NFL quarterback to convince Broncos management that he had the potential to become a franchise quarterback. Even after Broncos executive vice president John Elway told FOXSports.com in December that he was looking forward to hands-on work with Tebow during the offseason, Denver quickly entered the bidding for Manning following his release from Indianapolis earlier this month. Manning chose the Broncos over a slew of other strongly interested suitors that included Tennessee, San Francisco, Miami and Arizona.
Tebow has three seasons remaining on his five-year, $9.8 million rookie contract. According to rotoworld.com, Tebow is scheduled to collect a base salary of $1.1 million in 2012.
FOXSports.com NFL senior writer Alex Marvez contributed to this report.