The New York Jets made one of the most dramatic trades in franchise history on Thursday twice.
Gang Green swung a deal with the Broncos for polarizing quarterback Tim Tebow in the late evening after the trade nearly fell through earlier in the day, the New York Post reported.
The Jets sent their fourth- and fifth-round picks in next month’s draft to Denver in return for Tebow and the Broncos’ seventh-round pick.
The Jets thought they had completed a trade with the Broncos for Tebow, but then realized his contract called for them to send more than $5 million back to Denver. When they realised this, they balked on paying it, holding up the trade.
This allowed the Jacksonville Jaguars to jump in and try to get Tebow to come to his hometown. Eventually the Jets and Broncos agreed to split the $5 million payment.
The deal got done some eight hours after it originally was thought to be completed.
It’s been reported the Broncos believed the Jets made the original deal without reading the fine print of Tebow’s contract. It called for the Jets to repay money the Broncos advanced to Tebow last summer…totaling $5.06 million…on his 2012-14 salaries.
The Jets became a punch line around the NFL as word circulated around the league of the bungling of the deal.
“How on earth do you miss that payment on the contract? How?” one executive from another team asked.
Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway said Tebow left an “extraordinary” mark on the organization.
“His time in Denver will always hold a special place in Broncos history,” the Hall of Fame quarterback said.
“As a former player, I know the last two weeks were not easy for Tim. He was put in a difficult situation, and I commend him for how he handled it with the same first-class manner he displayed throughout his career in Denver.”
The Jets became enamored with Tebow over recent days and pounced when the Broncos signed four-time MVP Peyton Manning – and the proposed trade sparked plenty of conversation before it finally took place.
The Jets see Tebow as the ultimate competitor, who could play a variety of roles on their offense. They think he could run the Wildcat formation, one of Rex Ryan’s favorites.
There is also the boost he will do for business. The Jets certainly will see a jump in jersey sales and popularity with Tebow in the fold.
The critics of the deal point to his limited skills as a true quarterback and the baggage he brings with him.
This is also a team trying to repair a locker room. Tebow can be a divisive figure, through no fault of his own, according to the Post. Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie voiced opposition to the Jets trading for him Tuesday and again Wednesday morning before the trade was first reported.
by Buford Balony