NEW YORK (AP)Tim Tebow is coming to New York. Really.

After a big false start, the New York Jets pulled off a Tebow-like comeback Wednesday night, getting the quarterback who turned the Denver Broncos from an also-ran into a playoff team last season and became the NFL’s most talked-about player – for a fourth- and sixth-round draft pick.

Now, Tebowmania is opening on Broadway.

And, there’s sure to be plenty of drama – just as there was from the moment the Jets pulled off the deal. Or thought they did, that is.

“I’m thankful they stuck with me through this whole crazy process,” Tebow said during a call late Wednesday night, repeating several times that he was “excited” to be a member of the Jets.

Eight hours after initially agreeing to a trade, the teams completed it after it was hung up when the Jets balked at repaying Denver more than $5 million for a salary advance due Tebow. The two sides agreed to split that cost, and Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said the team was “comfortable with the compensation.”

He said there was a disagreement about how to handle the salary advance after Denver received the papers.

VIC’S SIGNATURE: Why Can’t We Appreciate Tebow And At The Same Time Respect Manning?

“We knew what the contract was,” he said. “We had read it. … We felt it was one way; they felt it was another. Based on that, they were well within their rights to assess their different possibilities of what to do and their alternatives. And they did so throughout the day.”

So the Jets waited and waited – and looked as if they had botched the big deal. Despite ultimately pulling off the trade, it’s just another bizarre moment for the Jets, a team that has had its share of them over the years, conjuring memories of Bill Belichick’s hiring as coach and his resignation one day later.

The deal also raised questions about the Jets’ commitment to Mark Sanchez, who received a $40.5 million contract extension, with $20.5 million guaranteed, earlier this month.

During a call late Wednesday night, Tannenbaum repeatedly referred to Sanchez as “our guy” and the team’s unquestioned starting quarterback.

Mark Sanchez is, has been and will be our starting quarterback,” he said.

But the Jets have opened themselves – and Sanchez – to what could be a season of added criticism from restless fans who are sure to call for Tebow to play at the first sign of struggles.

“We obviously know that Tim has a magnetic following,” Tannenbaum said. “We understand the popularity of the backup quarterback, and this one is more unique than others.”

Tebow said he had a “great conversation” on Wednesday with Sanchez, adding that they’ve been friends for several years.

“My goal is to push him to get better, and to push myself to get better every day,” Tebow said. “But I think we’ll have a great working relationship. We’ll have a great relationship off the field, and we’ve had that the last few years. He’s such a classy guy and handles himself so well, and I’ll be very honored to call him my teammate.”

Just a few weeks after “Linsanity” swept the area and the rest of the NBA with the Knicks’ sensational Jeremy Lin, “Timsanity” now will take over New York.

“I’m just excited for him and to see what he does,” Lin said in Philadelphia, where the Knicks beat the 76ers. “We’ll see what happens next year. But I’m excited, obviously, that he’s going to be in New York.”

So was defensive end Mike DeVito, who likes the intangible qualities Tebow will offer.

“You’ve got a tough player on the field, a leader in the locker room and a guy who shares the faith that I share,” DeVito said. “So, I’m very grateful to have him on our team, and I feel it’s going to really benefit us as a whole.”

But not everyone’s a fan.

Another teammate, cornerback Antonio Cromartie, took to Twitter on Wednesday to express his confidence in Sanchez and the offense as structured before the deal was finalized.

“Y bring Tebow in when we need to bring in more Weapons for (at)Mark-Sanchez,” Cromartie tweeted. “Let’s build the team around him. We already signed to 3 year ext.”

The Jets signed Drew Stanton last week to be their No. 2 quarterback, ahead of Greg McElroy, the team’s seventh-round draft pick last year. Tannenbaum said Tuesday that he was confident in the trio, but on Wednesday acknowledged that the team would assess that situation.

Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath, who led the Jets to their only Super Bowl title in 1969, was also among those who were unhappy.

“I’m just sorry that I can’t agree with this situation. I think it’s just a publicity stunt. I can’t go with it. I think it’s wrong,” Namath told 1050 ESPN Radio on Wednesday. “I don’t think they know what they’re doing over there.”

Two minutes after the Jets initially posted the trade – in which they’ll get a seventh-round pick in 2012 – on its Facebook page, there were 874 “likes,” 366 comments and 247 shares. Most of the comments ran along the lines of: “I might cry” and “He is not welcome here, another terrible decision.”

Regardless, the Jets sure got the headlines and were the talk of sports radio – even on a day when the New Orleans Saints received unprecedented punishment from the NFL for a bounty system that rocked the football world. Head coach Sean Payton was suspended without pay for next season, and former defensive coordinator Greg Williams, now with St. Louis, was banned indefinitely.

But even all that couldn’t overshadow another embarrassing episode for a franchise that has had to explain away several missteps in recent years.

The Jets are hoping Tebow can help change all that.

He led the Broncos to the playoffs last season – along the way beating Sanchez and the Jets, who missed the postseason. But Denver executive John Elway believed Manning gave the team a better chance at winning a championship now.

For the Jets, Tebow adds a unique dimension to the offense, including running the team’s wildcat package – something new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano enjoys using.

“It is very clear: They want me to come in and compete and get better, and get better as a quarterback and to help the team any way possible,” Tebow said. “Whatever that role is, I will do my best.”

Tebow also provides a solid presence in a locker room that was rife with infighting last season – particularly between Sanchez and wide receiver Santonio Holmes. He also brings with him a flock of fervent fans for reasons that have to do as much with his faith as his football skills. A devout Christian, he’s been a role model since his days at Florida, when he led the Gators to two national titles and captured the Heisman Trophy.

Denver started shopping Tebow after signing Peyton Manning, and the Jets were considered a long shot as late as Tuesday night. But New York went hard after Tebow, envisioning him as a versatile complement to starter Sanchez. The Jets also had pursued Manning, but fell out of that race early when there wasn’t mutual interest.

As part of Tebow’s $11.25 million, five-year contract he signed as a rookie in 2010, he had a $6.277 million advance due 29 days after the start of the 2011 league year. That money was paid to him in August after the NFL lockout ended. The trade stalled over the payment the Jets would owe the Broncos from that advance.

That allowed Jacksonville to get back into the hunt, and it came down to the Jaguars and Jets.

“I think we have a duty to consider all avenues of improving the Jaguars on and off the field, especially given the unique circumstances involving the player,” Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement. “I am very satisfied with the outcome.”

Tebow said, contrary to some reports, he didn’t have final say in where he was going.

“Ultimately, I really didn’t have any because the Broncos had all that power,” Tebow said, adding that Denver was “gracious” in the way it handled the process. “I was just kind of watching and waiting – kind of like everybody else. It was an interesting day.”

On Tuesday, Sanchez spoke highly of both Tebow and Manning on Fox Sports Radio in Los Angeles.

“I think Peyton is going to do great, and I think Tim is going to do great no matter what happens,” Sanchez said on “The Petros & Money Show.” “He can learn from one of the best quarterbacks to ever play or he moves on somewhere else and uses his skills at another ball club. He definitely has talent. He knows how to win. He knows how to impact players, so both guys are really in a good situation. It’ll work out for both of them.”

Tebow’s days were numbered in Denver when Manning chose the Broncos as his next destination. They are two entirely different quarterbacks and it made little sense to keep Tebow as a backup because the Broncos were going to have a vastly different offense under Manning, one of the most precise passers in league history.

Elway and Fox called Tebow on Monday night to tell him it was possible he would be traded.

Elway said he wanted to do right by Tebow, who took over a 1-4 team and led the Broncos to the AFC West title and a playoff win over Pittsburgh.

“As a former player, I know the last two weeks were not easy for Tim,” Elway said in a statement. “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.”

By DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Sports Writer … AP Sports Writers Doug Ferguson in Orlando, Fla., Dan Gelston in Philadelphia, Mark Long in Jacksonville, Fla., and Arnie Stapleton and Pat Graham in Denver contributed to this report.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (68)
  1. Bicycletech1 says:

    I wont be watching the Donks this season. I hope the Jets give Tim a fair shake unlike Elway.

    1. Justin haus says:

      Skip Bayless??? Is that you?? Tebow called and wanted his jock straps back.

    2. BroncoFan says:

      Good we don’t need fair weather fans like you Bicycletech1, I assume by your comment you are not a Bronco fan but a Tebow fan anyways. Remember no jumping back on the bandwagon when we continue to win!

      1. Dee says:

        Get a life, BroncoFan.

      2. BroncoFan says:

        Oh Dee why so mean? Because of that comment your also not allowed back on the bandwagon! Go Broncos!!

      3. Bicycletech1 says:

        I have been watching the Broncs for over 30 years, I am tired of management throwing away any hopes of the future and the having to rebuild for the next 5 years. I am sick of it.

    3. Ellen Kval says:

      Agree completely. Elway was never fair to Tebow. Best wishes wherever you go, Tim! You gave so much to Denver and the Broncos. You will be sorely missed.

    4. Bob Leppold says:

      Now that the Broncos have traded away Tim Tebow they need to have a nice farewell gathering for him at Sports Authority Field… and invite all of us fans. Maybe play a compilation of his best plays and moments on the Jumbotron. Broncos… you owe the fans and Tim that at the very least! We supported the Broncos and Tim Tebow last season. Now show us some respect and thanks!! We deserve to see and thank Tim one more time before he leaves us for good.

      1. Brian says:

        A “farewell gathering” for a guy who started for the Broncos less than one season?!

        That’s ridiculous. Your putting him on the same level as Elway.

        I wish Tebow the best, but am soooooooooo happy that the Tebow worship train is on it’s way out of Denver.

      2. Jim says:

        Bill are you serious?? This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard! Maybe we should just retire his jersey instead! He is a paid athlete, he did what he was PAID to do the Broncos owe him NOTHING!

  2. Jeff says:

    Traded tebow for a 4th round draft pick.. Tebow, you’re better than that. You got bent over in this deal.

    1. kathi sullivan says:

      You are so right, Jeff.

    2. Justin haus says:

      The market dictated the deal, not the Broncos. other than the intangibles, the play at the QB position doesnt warrant more than a 4th round pick. 46% pass completion?? We needed to get something for him or we would have to release him and get nothing.

    3. Bill says:

      Obviously he is not better than that, since teams weren’t offering more!

    4. Pal says:

      Yes, the market dictated the deal, but if you take the Tebow circus (evidenced by the crazies responding to this article) out of the picture, you likely get more than a 4th & 6th for him. In other words, the circus that all of you crazy Tebow lovers are contributing to cost Tebow his job with the Broncos and cost the Broncos a better draft pick in return for trading him.

  3. Rsenjohn says:

    although “Tebowing” will be missed, hopefully the ‘Mile High Salute’ will return to our fair city.

    1. Justin haus says:

      From “Tebowing ” to “Scoring”. hopefully we’ll see a lot of Mile High Salutes after we score a bunch of touchdowns.

  4. Julia says:

    Good luck in New York, Tim! You will still have MANY fans cheering you on from Denver. We wish you all the best!

  5. kathi sullivan says:

    Lucky Jets! Too bad you wouldn’t let us leave comments under the artilcle ‘Elway says Tim Tebow took the news (of letting him go), with class.” Is that because everyone is leaving negative comments about the Broncos decision and Elway and Bolen? Wonder if that surprised Elway…. it shouldn’t have, Tebow is a class act!

    1. Pal says:

      Poor Elway. He inherited this mess, and thus inherited all of you crazy people that think the Virgin Tebow has somehow been persecuted. As a result of all of your madness, Tebow, with all of his good intentions, will likely leave destruction in his wake. Hmm, that sounds an awful lot like religion in general.

  6. Carol says:

    Unbelievable. This is Elway’s doing. Tebow takes us to the playoffs for the first time in six years and gets the fans excited again — and this is what he gets? Traded so a near-has-been who won’t make it through his second season can play? Does Elway somehow magically know something the Colts don’t? Not only is this an unbelievably idiotic business decision, but it reeks of Elway’s personal disdain for both Tebow and the fans. I’m sure Elway thinks all will be forgotten if Manning wins a few games. Not so. This was a despicable move and I am no longer a Broncos fan. And guess what, Elway? I’m not the only one.

    1. Who are these people??? says:

      Elways disdain for Tebow and the fans????? Are you serious? Tim IS a great person and athlete NO QUESTION. However he is NOT a good QB. You obviously don’t work in buisness or no anything about footbal otherwise you would see the up side to this whole situation.

      1. Carol says:

        There is little upside to trading a good (and getting better with every game), young, and inspiring quarterback for a guy in his late thirties who won’t last two seasons. If Manning’s so great, why did the Colts jump him? You don’t come back from a neck injury and a year off the field. Sorry, but I see Elway’s personality issues all over this poor business decision. He operated from emotion, not sense.

      2. Chris Shriver says:

        If you would check the statistics you will find out, that Tim Tibow performed better than Elway and Mannning at the same time of their careers. How long did it take Elway to get us into the Play-offs?

      3. Steve says:

        Chris your not really comparing John Elway to Tim Tebow are you?!?!?! There is no comparison, yes Tim got lucky a few games but was not the answer in the long term. Tim is a great human being and will be missed (by me included) but this was a good decision.

    2. Ken says:

      Same thing happen with Jake Plummer after getting to the AFC championship. Why aren’t you mad about that?

  7. BroncoFan says:

    Doubters please follow Tebow and go be Jets fans as the Broncos don’t need you. If you have any football knowledge you would know this is the best thing for the Broncos, as football is NOT a popularity contest. Thank you for your service Tim we appreciate it and wish you the best of luck. John Elway you are the man! Great moves to got the Broncos back to a World Championship!

    1. Another Bronco Fan says:

      Well said!!

  8. Justin haus says:

    As a passer, Manning at 50%>120% Tebow. This is a passiing league!!! . I am sorry to see Tebow leave and wish him well, but does anyone think he could get us to and win a Superbowl????

  9. bill says:

    PLEASE VIC !! TELL ME THE PURPOSE OF TRADING TEBOW. The guy is a class act, hard worker , devoted to being the best and rallying teammates! Wrong decision Elway as much as I like you. You can’t even listen to what Peyton said, he could work with him. Dumb – dumb decision. We will all miss Tebow and what he brought to the Broncos and this city!

  10. Deano says:

    If Elway thinks this is all over he is crazy. He has just kicked over a hornets nest.
    This whole thing has been handled poorly from the get go.
    Every QB that has been here after Elway has been given an abrupt ending . I guess we should’nt be suprised.

    1. BroncoFan says:

      “If Elway thinks this is all over”?? What does that even mean? Wait don’t tell me you are no longer a Bronco fan too?? Good! Your also banned from jumping back on the bandwagon!

    2. Pal says:

      Is that a threat? Oh no, are you gonna take your Broncos dollars (that likely didn’t exist in the first place, especially before Tebow got here) to the Jets? Good. Go. Bye. …wow. I just don’t understand the craziness. I’m guessing that if Pat Robertson decided he wanted to play football all of a sudden, you’d want him on the Broncos too.

  11. Oldasdirtjerk says:

    I’ve been a Broncos fan since before most of you were born, so you can stick that ‘fair-weather tebow- fan’ right up where it doesnt shine. Refused to call it Invesco, or anything else. Ever eat at Alzado’s? Thought so.

    The front office has been handing us dull football for a decade. Left to them, Kyle would still be out there throwing lawn darts. Tebow brought the fans, the team, and the season back to life.

    I was really looking forward, as were a lot of folks, to another season of Tebow as a Bronco. Things happen.

    Somewhat less excited about this coming season. Maybe we’ll win more, that’s great. But I doubt the games will be as fun to watch as last season.

    Thanks Tebow, money says more than a few Denver sets will be tuned to the Jets this season.

    1. GladYourOfftheWagon says:

      Hope they all have the NFL package to get all those Jets games!!

    2. Pal says:

      I will say the games, from a neutral fan’s standpoint, probably won’t be as exciting. But that’s only because the Broncos will we winning by 15 points with 2mins left instead of the other way around.

  12. Chris Shriver says:

    I WAS a Bronco Fan since 1979. But what the Bronco Oranization did to Tim Tibow and the Bronco Fans is tooooo much. Last Year we had the most exciting football season since Elway won a couple of Superballs (after how many years beeing a Bronco?). If the Bronco Organization believe that Manning gets us to the Superball within 2or 3 years you got to be smoking pot. Dream on.

    1. Justin haus says:

      SUPERBALLS???? I have a couple superballs for you! WAS a Bronco fan?? 32 years and you get butt hurt over the organization bringing in an ELITE QB. Sorry man, Pat Bowlen and Elway are running a multi million dollare business and needs the best employees to WIN. Crazy concept huh??? I like Tebow, wish he could stay around as a back up, but the world is a rough and tough place and I’m sure he is looking forward to his nes opportunity.

    2. Pal says:

      Superball, huh? Clearly a football fan. …I think you lose credibility right there, buddy. Take your superball home and go play with the Jets.

  13. hande says:

    In the nd,as always… It’s all about Elway… from his draft… to this day… he couldn’t win without TD… he pulled most of his career out of his “…” he could not take someone else getting the love of the fans, Peyton was the only way out for him…

    Good luck Tim, I hope you come back to bite Johnny Boy in the “…”

    1. Bobert says:

      haha! I kinda agree!

  14. CM says:

    ME LOVE COOKIES!!!!! And me eat “BroncoFan” like COOKIE!!! ~Cookie Monster~

    1. Bert and Ernie says:

      I love you Cookie Monster! We’re also glad that Tebow is not throwing dirt balls here in Denver anymore. See you on Sesame Street!

  15. dave says:

    Good teams will be able to completely frustrate Tebow’s game. Top defenses will handle his style with ease. A patient pocket passer with a quick release, is required to win the Superbowl in today’s modern NFL. Tebow’s throwing mechanics are just not good enough.

    Tebow needs to be traded for whatever the Broncos can get for him in order to finally erase the Josh McDaniels nightmare.

    1. happyday says:

      Agree Tebow’s style is different and does leave him open for hits. The one thing Manning does not have is mobility and an offensive line to protect him. I wish them both well!

      1. Pal says:

        Manning makes decisions in about 1/10 the time that Tebow does. Manning has never had a great OL, yet because of his quick decision-making, he hardly ever gets sacked. Plus, I’d contend the OL he inherited here is better than any OL he had with the Colts.

  16. happyday says:

    Tebow will be much better off without Elway! Elway is running a business, but he is a liar if you believe it when he said trade talk only recently arose. That’s BS; he been h3ll bent to trade Tebow since he became part of the front office. Take some advice from me Tim, you wouldn’t want to marry his daughter! That is one of the most amusing statements Elway has made in years! Tebow will be fine, he has his faith on his side!

    1. Jim says:

      Glad he has faith because he doesn’t have an arm!

  17. JoAnne says:

    After 45 years, I’m not a Bronco fan anymore. I won’t watch them again becaus I love Tebow and how exciting he made the games,

    1. Brian says:

      I hope Santa Claus brings you a Tebow Jets jersey.

    2. TebowFan says:

      Boo Hoo! I love Tim throwing the ball in the dirt too! I am going to the mall on Sundays from now on! Go team God!!

  18. Lisa says:

    Last year was the first year I was ever into football, and it was all because of Tebow.
    My Bronco football days are now over!!!!

    1. Steve says:

      One and done?! Typical Tebow fan comment who knows nothing about football. Enjoy the mall Lisa!

    2. Justin haus says:

      what the hell wer eyou doing watching football?? get your a$$ back in the kitchen and cook!!!

  19. Brad says:

    One more example that there is no more integrity or ethics in the NFL anymore. Two of them today alone! They have been going the way of the NBA for at least the last 10 years. Pretty soon people will realize they are spending thousands of dollars watching people they really don’t care about anymore and wonder why. Already happening in some markets. The NFL still doesn’t realize they are killing the golden goose. Tebow was the only fresh air they have had for years, and that is what people loved. Be careful of all the talking heads on the pregame shows, they are drinking the koolaid and leading the NFL down the path of self destruction. Pretty sad. Where have you gone Roger Staubach?

  20. Dave says:

    You Kool-aid drinking Tebow fans just need to go away. Tebow should never be compared to John Elway. His throwing mechanics are terrible and will never be a consistent passer in the NFL. More reality, the Broncos were a .500 team last year, most years not good enough to get in the playoffs. They played in the worst division in football and had one of the weakest schedules in the NFL. Tebow got credit for beating bad teams when it was really a combination of defense, running game, and special teams. Having the chance to get Peyton Manning is a no brainer.

    1. Imanidiot says:

      I won’t watch the Broncos ever again!!!!! Poor Tim! I know he couldn’t throw, got lucky in about 6 games last season (thanks Matt Prater), but he is so cute!! I wish we could have watched him have a horrible QB rating and throw the ball in the dirt a few more years. The Jets are so lucky to have him unlike this 4 time NFL MVP and arguably one of the BEST to EVER play the game we have now.

      1. Justin haus says:

        Love it!! Said like a typical Tebow fanatic.

  21. Shawn says:

    If Elway and Fox are wrong they are finished here!!!!!!!!

    Let me explain, if Tebow could not play “according to critics”, and took us to the divisional round of the playoffs, then anything short of the championship game is a failure because manning is one of the best of all time, now if manning can’t play, or reinjures his neck, then plan A is an automatic failure and since plan B was traded to be a backup to Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets, REALLY, Tebow is better off? badking up Sanchez? I hope you take us the championship game Mr Elway and Mr Fox, I like Peyton and I love the Broncos, but I do not understand why they traded plan “B”, before taking the old classic (Peyton Manning) for a test drive. Will fans accept anything less than the championship game? Go Broncs!!!

  22. Brad says:

    I’m sure Tim Tebow will be fine, but doesn’t it seem that since Shanahan/Cutler the Broncos can’t wait to trade away their best players? Pat Bowlen should learn that this comes at a cost of fan support. Tebow made Broncos Football fun again after years of misery. I have nothing against Peyton Manning, but let’s hope he really is the dream team QB he was before his injury and this adventure does not turn into a Tiger Woods scenario.

  23. Justin haus says:

    Tebow fans=poop

    1. Justin haus says:

      sorry, I meant FANATICS

  24. Mary says:

    I’ll be hoping and praying that Tebow becomes the starter qb for the jets and that Manning gets a hard enough hit to put him out for the reast of his contract but not so hard that he is laid up forever. I don’t really wish him ill, I just wish ill for J. Fox and J. Elway the two m orons.

  25. tebowing says:

    Well, I’m sure i’ll get critisized for this, but I don’t care. Dave, you say that Tebow should not be compared to Elway and I agree, because as a 1st year Pro QB player Tebow was Way Better than Elway was when Elway first started. Heck Elway couldn’t even get along with any of his coaches, until they brought Shanahan in. Tebow got along with all his coaches and everyone else and someone else stated that Elway and Bowlen are running a multi-billion dollar franchise and they need the best. Well, how much did Bowlen spend on Elway before he Ever won a Superbowl, after 10, 15, 20, 30 years of being the Broncos QB? Tebow at least got us to the AFC West Champions his First year, which is a LOT more than Elway did and Tebow just kept getting better and better the more he played. I think Elway is jealous of the fact that Tebow did So Good his first year as a Pro QB and Elway didn’t even do a little bit good. I watched more Bronco Football last year than I have in several years. I have nothing again Manning either, but if Tebow could take us to AFC WEST Champions last year, just think of how much better he would be next year, and boy Elway would REALLY be jealous of him then. I can’t believe Elway couldn’t give Tebow the same chance as Shanahan and Bowlen gave Elway. I honestly hope Tebow does GREAT this year and Elway and Bowlen regret trading him. O.K., you negative people, you have a chance to critisize me now!!

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