League sources say it is a virtual certainty Tim Tebow will land a job back home with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013.
Tebow reportedly will be traded or released after the season, but league sources say the Jets are likely to honor Tebow's forthcoming request to be released and therefore become an unrestricted free agent.
Circumstances in Jacksonville have changed since Tebow chose the Jets over the Jaguars when he was traded by the Denver Broncos in March.
Jacksonville owner Shad Khan wanted Tebow, but there was no assurance that the former Heisman Trophy winner would get an opportunity to play because the team was still committed to 2011 first-round pick Blaine Gabbert.
In 2013, the Jaguars will have an open quarterback competition and a team source conceded it's a "high likelihood" Tebow will be part of the mix.
Gabbert was inconsistent again as a starter and eventually landed on injured reserve this season. Chad Henne assumed the starting role and has had his own streak of inconsistency on a team that has been riddled by injuries.
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The Jaguars offered a fourth-round pick to Denver in March and proposed to pay $3 million to the Broncos to compensate for money that had been advanced to Tebow. The Broncos gave Tebow his choice of teams and the former Florida quarterback decided his opportunity to play in New York was greater than Jacksonville, based on conversations with Jets coach Rex Ryan, sources said.
The Jets gave up fourth- and sixth-round draft choices to Denver and received a seventh-rounder in return from the Broncos when Tebow chose New York. The Broncos also agreed to pay the Broncos $2.53 million, or about half of what had been advanced to Tebow.
Tebow has played very little with the Jets and was bypassed by third-string quarterback Greg McElroy when Ryan benched Mark Sanchez as a starter this week.
Sanchez is slated to be the No. 2 quarterback Sunday when the Jets play the Chargers. Tebow is not expected to be active, sources said, though no formal announcement on his status has been made by the team.