Quarterback phenomenon Tim Tebow has been traded to the New York Jets.
Speculation had been swirling since it became clear that the Denver Broncos were trying to sign former Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning. This deal has come less than 24 hours after Manning officially joined the Broncos.
According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, Tebow has been traded for just a fourth round draft pick. The Jets will also get a sixth round pick, while the Broncos receive a seventh round pick.
The deal almost stumbled over a $5m compensation that was owed to Tebow, with the Jets understood to have agreed to pay half the fee.
The Jets posted a message on their website: "Tebow-mania just got a New Jersey address."
The deal is something of a surprise as the Jets gave current quarterback Mark Sanchez a three-year contract extension to 2012 as recently as March 9.
It is unclear whether Tebow will be starting QB or used as an option or merely as a backup to put pressure on Sanchez, who had a difficult season in 2011. With the Tebowmania that accompanies the QB, the pressure on Sanchez is likely to be enormous.
Tebow has been criticised for the accuracy of his passing. His career pass completion figure is 47.3% compared with 55.3% for Sanchez. The Tebow-led Broncos beat the Jets last season.
The deeply religious Tebow became one of the talking points of the NFL last season after he stepped in as starting quarterback and helped the Broncos overcome a 1-4 start with a six-game winning streak to finish the season 8-8 and win the AFC West title. They then beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the playoffs.
After a season when offensive plans were criticised, Jets head coach Rex Ryan has said he is committed to a "ground-and-pound" philosophy - which may suit Tebow more than Sanchez. New offensive coach Tony Sparano was also a fan of Wildcat packages when he was head coach in Miami.
The move will certainly spark a media frenzy in a big market like New York.
Elway said in a statement: "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"
"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. 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."
The Jets current backup QBs are newly signed Drew Stanton and untested Greg McElroy.
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