I have been watching the NFL for over 20 years and I've been blogging the NFL for nearly 10 years. Wednesday was one of the most bizarre and surreal things I've ever seen that I can remember. The New York Jets traded for Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, then there was a snag in the trade because of a trade clause forcing a team to pay the Broncos back $5 million. This let the Jacksonville Jaguars get back into the race, a race in which they ultimately lost.
The Jets sent the Broncos a fourth-round pick and sixth-round pick for Tim Tebow and a seventh-round pick. By most reports, the Jaguars offered up a fourth-round pick and were willing to pay most, if not all, of the $5 million requirement. Ultimately, it got to the point where the Denver Broncos let Tim Tebow choose if he wanted to play for the Jets or the Jaguars.
How it all played out, was odd, and a perfect storm of negotiation by the Jaguars new owner.It's no secret now that Jaguars owner Shad Khan asked general manager Gene Smith to go get Tim Tebow. The way things played out tells us that Gene Smith had to agree, and the only way he agreed was with the plan to bring Tim Tebow in as something other than a quarterback.
What some people are missing in the Shad overrode Gene theory, is that if he had really wanted to go get Tebow, he could have insisted on it and forced Gene to give up a second or third round pick. Adam Schefter of ESPN at one point reported the Jaguars were "devastated" that they missed out on Tim Tebow.
If Jaguars were devastated why didn't they offer third rounder? If Khan wanted Tebow that bad, why didn't he make Gene get him at all costs?
There are conflicting reports on whether or not Tim Tebow actually "chose" where he went, but if you look at it it becomes obvious. Tebow says he had no say in the matter, his agent said he did. When Tebow was asked about the Jaguars in a conference call late Wednesday night, he was mum. Reports now are that Tebow would automatically at least be the Jets No. 2 quarterback, will get on the field, and be able to compete.
I fully believe Jaguars told him, "You'll be a short-yardage, situational guy and 3rd-team quarterback." Then, he chose the Jets.
So, did Khan meddle?
Yes, he did. But, he meddled the right way. He asked Gene Smith to do something and allowed Gene Smith to do it on his terms.
Well played, Shad. Well played.