So why are the Jets stubbornly holding the rights of a player they don’t want?
Mike Klis of the Denver Post cracks the code, by explaining that, if the Jets cut Tebow, they’ll owe the Broncos $1.53 million in 2013 salary that Denver already has paid to the player.
Under his 2010 rookie contract, Tebow’s base salary for the coming season is a fairly modest $2.58 million. But he received $1.53 million of it via an advance from the Broncos, and the Jets agreed when trading for Tebow last year to refund that money in 2013. (The Jets already have given the Broncos $1 million in money advanced to Tebow for 2012.)
The Jets presumably believe that, if they can trade Tebow, his next team will agree to pay $1.05 million to Tebow and $1.53 million to the Broncos.
The other side of the coin is that the salary advance makes Tebow more attractive (or perhaps less unattractive) if he’s released by the Jets. Because he has only three years of service, Tebow would be subject to waivers. His current contract could be claimed, and he’d be owed only $1.05 million this year.
That still may be more than anyone would want to pay him. Especially since it appears no one wants him.