If you talk to Tim Tebow about last week’s trade and his current position as Mark Sanchez’s backup, he’ll probably say the word “excited” at least 44 times, and then he’ll tell you that he was consulted, but he wasn’t given the power to make a final decision. He had a preference, and he admitted as much during his press conference that wasn’t really a press conference this afternoon. He was more familiar with the Jets coaches, and therefore felt more comfortable wearing a darker shade of green, instead of a tealish color.
But it was just a preference, albeit a strong one, and he wanted whatever was best for the Broncos, mostly because Tim Tebow wants whatever is best for all of mankind.
Shad Khan has now spoken, and when a mustachioed man speaks, you listen. Those are the laws by which our society is governed. While he doesn’t sound like the mustache at the bar who was spurned by the supermodel, this mustache definitely knows the temperature of Tebow’s shoulder. It was cold, very cold.
Speaking with Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union, the Jaguars owner said that Jacksonville offered a fourth-round pick, and they were willing to pay $3 million of Tebow’s $5 million in advanced salary, an item that became the snag in negotiations. The Jets offer that eventually became the deal both sides signed off on after a 10-hour marathon included a fourth-round pick, a sixth-round pick, and cash, but the Jets’ pick in the fourth round was nine slots lower, and they were only willing to pay $2.5 million.
Khan said the Jaguars considered countering with a third-round pick, but at that point the effort wasn’t worth the return. Tebow had made it clear that he wanted to play for the Jets, and Khan is building a team with players who genuinely and passionately want to be in Jacksonville.
A third-round offer would have taken the decision out of Tebow’s hands, and that wasn’t a scenario Khan wanted to pursue.
“That would have been the worst thing for Jacksonville and the worst thing for him,” Jaguars owner Shad Khan told the Times-Union at the NFL’s annual league meetings. “He didn’t want to come, obviously. … 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.”
How bad that would have been for Jacksonville is debatable. We know who Tebow is as a quarterback, and even after essentially one full season as a starter, we’re well versed in what he can and can’t do. It’s simple really: he can run, and he can’t throw.
But from a business perspective, Tebow’s presence in Jacksonville is also clear, and it’s spectacular. Khan can preach loyalty and a desire to wear the sacred teal, but that smells of an inexperienced owner who’s unwilling to take a risk. And for Jacksonville, the risk associated with Tebow is nearly non-existent.
If he sucks as a quarterback, then he stays behind Blaine Gabbert. When Gabbert continues to suck, so will the Jaguars, and in a year Matt Barkley will be picked first overall, and Tebow will continue to be a gimmick and a fun little wildcat diversion from a normal offense. But regardless of his position and relevance, Tebow’s mere presence in Jacksonville will create buzz in his hometown, and draw immense interest.
He’ll never say it, because mean in suits generally aren’t in the business of speaking undeniable truths. But Tebow’s ability to draw fans and re-energize the Jaguars fan base would have been a massive boost for a franchise that averaged over 14,000 empty seats for home games last year, and has consistently been among the candidates discussed when relocation talk surfaces.
Khan is a business man, and he missed out on a business opportunity because of personal pride.