It appears that our suspicions were right all along--the Broncos sought a cure for Tebowmania sooner than we were told.
According to Tania Gangiuli of the Florida Times-Union, Denver started shopping Tebow during last month's pre-draft Combine:
The Broncos began quietly shopping the quarterback at the NFL scouting combine in February. When the Broncos became the frontrunners to acquire former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. Tebow’s days in Denver seemed numbered.
The narrative that kept the kids nestled comfortably and sleeping peacefully in their beds all over Broncos Country--namely, that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get Peyton Manning and that the Broncos were more than comfortable to go into 2012 with Tebow as their starter--was, apparently, a spoonful of sugar fed to Tebowmaniacs to help the medicine go down.
The aftertaste? Bitter.
A little over a month ago, John Fox said the Broncos would acquire at least two new quarterbacks to the Denver roster this offseason:
Who, what, where, when, what market — it's still way too early how we get those quarterbacks.
Of course, few could have predicted that the first two steps in Denver's QB overhaul would be the acquisition of Peyton Manning and trade of Tim Tebow for a mid-round pick. That changeover is another step closer to completion today, albeit in less dramatic fashion, and involving a far-less heralded player.
The Broncos added former CSU Ram and Chicago Bear Caleb Hanie, who agreed to a two-year deal; Hanie (6-2, 222) spent four seasons in Chicago backing up former Broncos Kyle Orton and Jay Cutler, going winless in four starts last year after Cutler broke his thumb.
What were we just saying about the lack of an Indy reunion in Denver?
The Broncos have agreed to terms on a three-year deal with former Colts TE Jacob Tamme. According to Jason La Canfora, Tamme (6-4, 236) will receive $3.5M in guarantees as part of a $9.5M deal.
Jeff Saturday, the former Colts center seen by many as signing wherever Peyton Manning landed, has instead agreed to join the Green Bay Packers as the replacement for Scott Wells, who signed with the Rams.
In the leadup to Manning's decision to sign with the Broncos, and in the intervening days, it had been rumored that the QB would be followed by several of his Indy teammates, including Saturday, WR Reggie Wayne, TE Dallas Clark, RB Joseph Addai, and TE Jacob Tamme. This theory was never publicly confirmed or advanced by Manning himself.
The Broncos have replenished their veteran TE presence following the departures of Daniel Fells and Dante Rosario by agreeing to terms with former Texan Joel Dreessen.
Dreessen (6-4, 245), who will turn 30 this summer, attended Fort Morgan High School and Colorado State University before being drafted by the Jets in the sixth round of the 2005 Draft. He's started 35 of the 91 games he's played in, amassing 110 receptions, 1,364 yards, and 13 touchdowns, with a career-high six scores in 2011.
Tracy Porter's biggest NFL moment came at the expense of Peyton Manning on the biggest stage in American sports. Now, the two will be wearing orange together.
Porter (5-11, 186), whose interception of Manning and subsequent touchdown in SB 44 finished off the Colts' bid for a second championship in four seasons, agreed to join the Broncos on a one-year deal, it was reported.
The 2008 second-rounder (40th overall, Indiana) started 39 of the 43 games he played in during four seasons with the Saints, compiling 194 tackles, one sack, 32 passes defensed, seven interceptions, and four forced fumbles along the way.
Contrary to previous reports, the Broncos did what was in their self interest as an organization.
Vic Lombardi reports:
NEWS: I can confirm the Jets offered the better draft picks. The Jags package was less attractive. The Broncos chose the Jets.
Mike Klis confirmed this:
Jags offered same $2.53 million rebate as Jets. No more. Difference was Jets gave 6th to Broncos in return for 7th. A 40-plus move up.
Lombardi also confirmed that neither Tebow nor his brother Robby had any input into the trade.
Adam Schefter is reporting on ESPN that the Broncos and Jets have again agreed to a deal that will send Tim Tebow and a seventh-rounder from Denver to New Jersey in return for a fourth- and sixth-rounder. The Jets had announced the same trade earlier in the day but had not yet read the details of the quarterback's contract; at issue was the $6,277,500 guarantee Denver had paid Tebow last summer.
$5,036,250 of that figure covered Tebow's 2012-2014 salaries, and as is customary with such advances, any team acquiring Tebow would owe the Broncos a refund on the salary already paid but not yet earned. Instead, the Jets and Broncos have agreed to split the difference, meaning the Jets will be sending Denver about $2.5M to complete the deal.
According to Schefter, the Jaguars had jumped back into the bidding after the initial deal fell through, and were willing to pay most or all of that $5,036,250 figure. Schefter reports that Tebow ended up having some input into where he landed, and he chose the Jets, despite wide assumptions he preferred to go home to Florida.
According to Jason Cole, the Broncos have signed former Bengals WR Andre 'Bubba' Caldwell (6-0, 190) to a two-year deal. Caldwell, who was drafted by Cincinnati in the third round of the 2008 Draft, has 124 catches for 1,172 yards and six touchdowns in 51 career games, 14 of them starts; he turns 27 next month.
Per Vic Lombardi:
Twitter has turned this job into verbal sportstalk radio. I love it. Still waiting on Tebow. Sounds like Jets are trying to make it work.
More to follow. Not sure if Vic is 95% sure the Jets are trying.