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Broncos trade Tebow to Jets after all

(Sports Network) - While the NFL announced stiff penalties for the New Orleans Saints' bounty program, another story brewed Wednesday involving one of the league's most talked about players.

Tim Tebow was traded from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets for a pair of draft picks.

But not so fast.

The deal was being held up by language in Tebow's contract, according to ESPN, which later said the quarterback would have his pick between a trade to the Jets or the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the end, the deal wound up as originally reported: The Jets acquired Tebow and a seventh-round draft pick for a fourth- and sixth-round pick this year, adding him to a roster that already includes No. 1 starter Mark Sanchez and his new contract.

Tebow, of course, helped the Broncos capture the AFC West last season at 8-8 and also won a playoff game against Pittsburgh with an 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime.

But Despite John Elway's pronouncement of Tebow as Denver's starting quarterback entering training camp, the lure of landing four-time MVP Peyton Manning was too great.

The Broncos traded Tebow one day after introducing Manning, the future Hall of Famer who said he would be "the best teammate I can" for Tebow if both QBs ended up on the Denver roster next season.

Now, that won't happen.

Jaguars owner Shad Khan, in a statement released late Wednesday after his team showed up in stories about Tebow, said he asked general manager Gene Smith to explore the possibility of acquiring the quarterback earlier this week.

"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," said Khan. "I appreciate the high level of due diligence Gene and his staff dedicated to this matter, even as late as this evening, and I am very satisfied with the outcome.

"Our commitment to developing (quarterback) Blaine Gabbert was, and still is, central to our goal of returning the Jaguars to elite status in the NFL. We're looking ahead with zero regrets."

Tebow, who rushed for 660 yards last season, will likely be used in wildcat formations for the Jets, who struggled in the wildcat last year without Brad Smith, who signed with the Bills following the 2010 season.

Tony Sparano, New York's new offensive coordinator, introduced the wildcat to the NFL in 2008 while with the Miami Dolphins and guided them to an AFC East divisional crown that year.

The Tebow trade came two weeks after the Jets signed Sanchez to a three-year contract extension. Much maligned for his inconsistent play down the stretch last season, Sanchez threw for 3,474 yards, 26 touchdowns and 18 interceptions last year.

The Jets agreed to pay half of a disputed $5 million in compensation back to Denver in the trade for Tebow, ESPN said.

New York also inked backup quarterback Drew Stanton last week and already has Alabama product Greg McElroy on its roster.

03/21 22:22:34 ET