Report: Tim Tebow deal to Jets hits snag

By Dennis Waszak Jr.

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, March 21 2012 2:39 p.m. MDT

In this Nov. 17, 2011 file photo, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow warms up before playing the New York Jets in an NFL football game, in Denver.

Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

NEW YORK — Just another crazy day for the New York Jets.

Hours after the Jets announced they had agreed in principle to acquire Tim Tebow from the Denver Broncos, ESPN reported that the deal hit a snag.

Tebow Time on Broadway? Well, not quite yet.

Citing anonymous sources, ESPN says Wednesday that provisions in the quarterback's contract are causing complications in the completion of the trade. ESPN says Tebow's contract has $5 million worth of "recapture language," which means the Jets would have to pay back some money to the Broncos.

The hang-up came hours after the Jets declared they were bringing the polarizing quarterback to New York as a complement to starter Mark Sanchez. Denver general manager Brian Xanders said the Broncos would receive fourth- and sixth-round draft picks, while New York would get a seventh-rounder — all in 2012.

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 Jets would have lots of explaining to do — no matter whether the deal goes through or falls apart.

If the sides work things out, "Tebowmania" likely would take over New York, just a few weeks after "Linsanity" swept the New York area and the rest of the NBA with the Knicks' sensational Jeremy Lin.

Tebow, who became expendable when the Broncos signed Peyton Manning to a five-year deal Tuesday, would be expected to complement Sanchez, who received a $40.5 million contract extension, with $20.5 million guaranteed, earlier this month. Rex Ryan's Jets also had pursued Manning before bowing out on the sweepstakes when there was little interest by the four-time NFL MVP.

Tebow 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 would add a versatile dimension to the offense, including running the team's wildcat package — something new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano enjoys using. He would also provide a solid presence in a locker room that was rife with infighting last season — particularly between Sanchez and wide receiver Santonio Holmes.

He'd also bring 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.

Several teams, including his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars, reportedly were interested in acquiring Tebow.

The Jets had been relatively quiet in free agency, making a few moves that weren't exactly headline-makers, such as re-signing nose tackle Sione Pouha, kicker Nick Folk and linebacker Bryan Thomas, and signing safety LaRon Landry, wide receiver Chaz Schilens and backup quarterback Drew Stanton.

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."

The effect Tebow's presence would have on Sanchez remains to be seen. The Jets appear to be committed to him financially as their starter for at least the next two years, but a restless fan base that got down on Sanchez as he struggled late last season could call for Tebow to take over at the first sign of trouble.

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