Tebow trade was a team effort

March, 26, 2012
3/26/12
3:34
PM ET


One of the mysteries surrounding the Tim Tebow trade to the Jets is who actually picked New York over Jacksonville. Broncos exec John Elway said Tebow made the final call, while the Jets' new backup quarterback said immediately after the trade that his superiors had the final call.

Turns out, Tebow said Monday at his first news conference at the Jets' practice facility, it was a little bit of both.

"[Denver coach John Fox] was very gracious to ask me what I thought, and so I talked to him very honestly about it, and told him I would love to be a Jet," Tebow said. "But also the Jaguars are my hometown team and whatever was best for them."

Tebow, who said he had met Jets coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and wanted to play for them, went on to reiterate that the ultimate choice was left up to the Broncos. But at the owners meetings in Florida, Jacksonville owner Shahid Khan said he didn't think Tebow wanted to become a Jaguar.

"He didn't want to come," Khan said to The Florida Times-Union. "Any one of the 53 players we have, have to be committed to Jacksonville, making us be the best team we are. The question was: Did he want to come? And if the decision had been taken out [of his hands] and we got him, that would not be good for him, or for us."

Tebow indicated that it was more complicated given that there were really two decisions on the trade. The first came early Wednesday, which Tebow said started with a conversation with Fox.

"He kinda told me some of the opportunities that were out there," Tebow said. "And so I talked to him about it, and the next thing I know I got a call from [Jets general manager] Mike Tannenbaum and Coach Ryan and they said I was a Jet and I was really excited about it. ... When's the next flight out to New York?"

But then the pause. The deal hit a snag over who was on the hook for a $5 million bonus. Tebow was no longer necessarily a Jet, and the other interested teams were brought back in. Again Tebow was consulted on the options, but he said he didn’t feel like he was making the final call.

"Ultimately, they had my contract and they had all the power but he listened to me and what I had to say," Tebow said.

Tebow's agent, Jimmy Sexton, also represents Ryan and Sparano, who coached Tebow in the 2010 Senior Bowl. "I've always had a great relationship with Coach Ryan," Tebow said.

Tebow said earlier that watching Ryan on HBO's "Hard Knocks" in 2010 only improved his impression of the coach. Now, after his introduction as one of Ryan’s players, Tebow will find out whether the Jets were the right call for him.
Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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