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Jets, Broncos Complete Trade For Tim Tebow

 Tebow celebrates after the game against the New York Jets on Nov. 17, 2011 in Denver.
Garrett Ellwood
Getty Images
Tebow celebrates after the game against the New York Jets on Nov. 17, 2011 in Denver.

The Denver Broncos have traded quarterback Tim Tebow to the New York Jets in exchange for a fourth-round and a sixth-round draft pick, Newsday is reporting.

Tebow became redundant in Denver after the team signed Peyton Manning to a five-year, $96 million contract. Newsday adds:

"Earlier this offseason, the Jets signed starting quarterback Mark Sanchez to a three-year extension that runs through 2016 and includes $20 million in guaranteed money for 2012-13. They also recently signed former Detroit Lion Drew Stanton as a backup quarterback.

"The Jets have pulled off surprises at quarterback before. In August 2008, they traded for Brett Favre and released Chad Pennington. Two weeks ago, they explored signing Manning as a free agent, although he did not include the Jets on his list of finalists. Jets owner Woody Johnson said last week the Jets 'passed on' Manning."

Update at 10:25 p.m. ET. It's Official

The New York Times is reporting that Tim Tebow is heading to New York.

The deal came after hours of uncertainty over the $5 million to be paid to the Broncos. ESPN reported that the two teams agreed to split that cost.

Update at 4:44 p.m. ET. A Little More On The Contract:

The New York Times and The Denver Post are confirming the snag. Essentially, the $5 million in question is a kickback to the Broncos.

"The contract says any team acquiring Tebow has to kick back $5.06375 million to the Broncos in advanced salaries from the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons, according to an NFL source," the Post reports.

Update at 4:14 p.m. ET. A Contract Snag?

ESPN is reporting that this trade may not be final. Tebow, reports ESPN, has $5 million "worth of recapture language in his contract, meaning the Jets would have to pay back some money to Denver, and the Jets might be unwilling to do that."

Update at 2:01 p.m. ET. #TebowGotTradedFor:

Part of this story that is echoing across the Web, right now is how little the Broncos seem to have gotten for Tebow. That thread has given way to #TebowGotTradedFor, a trending hashtag on twitter. Among some of the humorous ones:

@xtinaboateng: #tebowgottradedfor a signed photo from mark sanchez's gq shoot.

@iKelz: #tebowgottradedfor a Motorola razor flip phone

@whatspayne: #TebowGotTradedFor a box full of Lebron jerseys from his cavalier days

Update at 1:52 p.m. ET. Sanchez's Leadership Under Attack:

Over at NFL.com, Gregg Rosenthal frames the news by saying that "this is all so delicious, I can barely believe it's true."

"Tebow in the big city will make Jeremy Lin's New York run look like an off-Broadway play," Rosenthal writes.

He also concurs with Cimini, saying this just adds more drama to an already divided locker room by undermining Sanchez's leadership.

Update at 1:38 p.m. ET. 'A Logic-Defying Move':

Over at ESPN New York, Rich Cimini's gut reaction is that this move makes no sense for the Jets.

Specifically, he says, it undermines Sanchez just at the time that the team should be trying to come together.

"The Jets just gave Sanchez a three-year contract extension, affirming their faith in a quarterback whose stature in the locker room took a hit last season," Cimini writes. "The Tebow acquisition is counter-productive because all it does is re-open a can of worms that should've been buried."

As soon as Sanchez has a bad game, writes Cimini, the Tebow fans will clammer for a QB change.

"It will become the soundtrack of the Jets' season," Cimini writes.

Update at 1:31 p.m. ET. What Happens To Sanchez?

The short answer seems to be that the New York Jets will leave Mark Sanchez as their starting quarterback. The Washington Post says that even though the incumbent is "embattled," the Jets will likely "experiment with Tebow at other positions, including running the Wildcat."

Update at 1:22 p.m. ET. A Bit Of Background On Tebow:

Even non sports fans have heard of Tim Tebow, who somehow, someway managed to lead the Broncos into the playoffs this past season. The AP says that along the way the Broncos even beat the Jets, who failed to make it into the playoffs.

Tebow made lots of news because of his victories and also because he wore his religion on his sleeve. His on-field kneels to give thanks to God became known as "Tebowing."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.