ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- A day after acquiring free agent quarterback
“Our goal was to do the best thing for Tim and the Broncos, and I believe the opportunity that presented itself with the New York Jets accomplishes that objective," Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway said in a statement. "Tim made a lot of strides last year and has a very promising career ahead of him. If anyone is willing to put the work in to be great, it’s Tim Tebow.
“I have a great deal of respect for Tim and the positive impact he makes both on the field and in the community. He has a bright future in this league, and I’m hopeful he will enjoy continued success with the Jets.”
Last season, Tebow helped lead the Broncos from a 1-4 record to an AFC West championship, in addition to a win in the Wild Card Round of the AFC Playoffs.
“Tim Tebow brought an incredible spirit and spark to our team that helped us turn the season around," Head Coach John Fox said in a statement. "Along the way, he earned the trust of his teammates and coaches while inspiring our fans. His competitiveness, clutch performances and will to win played an instrumental role in our team earning a division title and advancing in the playoffs."
In 23 career games -- including 14 starts -- Tebow completed 47.3 percent of his passes for 2,838 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He added 887 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. In two postseason games, Tebow threw for 452 yards and two touchdowns, rushing for 63 yards and a score.
His five fourth-quarter comebacks in 2011 tied Eli Manning and Alex Smith for the NFL lead.
"Tim Tebow deserves an enormous amount of credit for what he accomplished and how he carried himself during his time with the Broncos," Elway said. "From taking over a 1-4 team and leading it to the playoffs to energizing our fans and this community, Tim left an extraordinary mark on this organization. His time in Denver will always hold a special place in Broncos history."
At Manning's introductory press conference Tuesday, Elway said that "the toughest thing about this whole thing is Tim Tebow because of what I think about Tim Tebow."
In his statement Wednesday, Elway commended the quarterback for how he has dealt with everything.
“As a former player, I know the last two weeks were not easy for Tim," he said. "He was put in a difficult situation, and I commend him for how he handled it with the same first-class manner he displayed throughout his career in Denver."
Fox echoed Elway's sentiments.
“A player and person like Tim don’t come around very often," Fox said. "He is real and he walks the walk. I’m looking forward to watching him continue his career with the Jets, and I wish him the very best.”
With the picks received from the Jets in exchange for Tebow, the Broncos now have seven selections in the 2012 NFL Draft -- a first-rounder, a second-rounder, a third-rounder, two fourth-rounders, a fifth-rounder and a sixth-rounder.