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.
As Schefter puts it, the Jets coaching staff was clearly more interested than the Jaguars coaches were, and this apparently made the move to Gang Green more appealing to Tebow.
Mike Klis says the Jaguars were offering only their fourth-rounder in the deal, and not the six-for-a-seven the Jets gave up. But with the reported financial discrepancy and this apparent difference of draft choice compensation, it looks like Denver took the lesser deal to do right by Tebow. John Elway may be one slick salesman, but he's also a man of his word.
Said Elway about the deal and Tebow's time with the Broncos:
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 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.
John Fox also issued a statement commending Tebow:
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.
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.
Again, the Broncos will have one pick in the first, second, third, fifth, and sixth rounds, plus two in the fourth. The fifth-rounder was originally that of the Rams, who sent the pick to Denver in return for WR Brandon Lloyd; Denver's own fifth-rounder went to Cleveland to complete the disastrous Peyton Hillis/Brady Quinn trade.
Denver had sent their own sixth-rounder to the Eagles as compensation for LB Joe Mays, who re-signed earlier in the week. Originally, the Broncos had traded RB J.J. Arrington to Philadelphia in return for Mays, but the oft-injured back failed to make the Eagles roster in 2010, triggering the draft choice stipulation.
For those keeping score and wondering at home, the pick Denver sent to Philly in return for Brodrick Bunkley is a conditional 2013 choice, believed to be a sixth- or seventh-rounder. Unfortunately, the team was unable to sign Bunkley, who instead agreed to a five-year deal with the Saints.