After signing Peyton Manning to a 5-year 96 million deal on March 21st, the Broncos set out to trade Tim Tebow who had become the starter and helped turn around a poor 2-5 start in to an 8-8 finish and ultimately a division title, playoff birth, and thrilling first round victory over the Steelers.
John Elway had seen enough of the player to know that his inaccuracy, poor mechanics, and rabid following were not something the Denver Broncos wanted any part of going forward. There was widespread speculation that the final landing spot of Tim Tebow would be back in his home state of Florida with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The New York Jets entered the picture, and though this point has been disputed Tim Tebow was ultimately given the choice on where he would wind up.
The Jaguars had just drafted Blaine Gabbert and though he suffered through a poor rookie campaign, the general feeling was that Tebow would be nothing more than sideshow attraction that would sell tickets and put fans in the stands. The Jaguars offered a better 4th round pick to the Broncos, and the Broncos allowed Tim Tebow to chose the New York Jets in what would perhaps be the beginning of the end of his pro football career.
The Jets sent the 108th overall pick (4th round) and the 188th overall pick (6th round) to the Denver Broncos in return for Tim Tebow and the 232nd overall pick (7th round). The Jets also agreed to pay the Broncos half of the 5 million in Tebow's contract that became salary advances (about 1.5 million is owed to the Broncos this year).
The moment Tebow arrived in NY, the media ascended on Floram park like a pack of rabid dogs. Everyday of OTA's or TC had some Tebow feature on ESPN and SportsCenter. Infamously, the media ran a story about Tebow jogging shirtless in the rain.
From the beginning Rex Ryan mislead everyone about his intentions to use Tebow, at one time famously boasting he would be a major part of the offense that can see up to 20 snaps per game. This never came to pass, he was used a couple of snaps per game (if that) and in situations on special teams as a punt protector. Tebow sat on the bench all season as the 3rd QB. How do I know he was the 3rd QB you ask? Because when Rex Ryan finally got over his "I <3 Sanchez tattoo" and benched "The Buttfumble" for his terrible play, he went to Greg McElroy as the starter instead.
The Jets finished 6-10, were probably the most mismanaged team outside of Al Davis' Raiders going back a few years, and made a change at GM. Still, with the mismanagement of the cap through ridiculous contracts and extensions to players like Mark Sanchez, they gutted their roster and traded away Darrelle Revis. A Geno Smith pick later and with 6 QB's on their roster, Tim was the odd man out. Time will tell if "Buttfumble" will run his way into the rear end of Rex Ryan while trying to make his way out the door. One thing is for sure, there is a clear winner in the trade: The Denver Broncos and their fans.
We replaced a struggling signal caller with one of the best in the game, became a desirable destination for FA's, removed the portion of Tebow's fanbase that is rabid and has no concept of how pro football works (not to mention the fact that many of them said some of the most hateful and vile things toward anyone that had any logical criticism of his play), and added two young players that figure to contribute. So what came of all those draft picks?
Drafted C Phillip Blake with the 4th round selection, figures to push J.D. Walton in camp and provide the Broncos backup depth along the interior of their offensive line.
Drafted LB Danny Trevathan with their 6th round pick. Danny was eased into his role as a man-coverage LB in nickel situations. He played well showing flashes that he is the man to become "The TE Slayer". Danny figures to be a bigger part of the defense this year.
Tim Tebow's football future remains a big questionmark. What will happen only time can tell.
To conclude the Jets gave away picks the Broncos used to find depth and playmaking ability, footed half of Tebow's salary advance bill, AND failed to utilize Tim in what was a lousy season offensively. In short, they got nothing in return and still have "The Buttfumble." The Broncos on the other hand are poised to make a Super Bowl run while Rex Ryan and co. struggle to win games. Thank you John Elway!
Just to further nail the point home, here are the memories we have of Tebow:
And here are the memories Jets fans have of Mark Sanchez: