Monday, February 4, 2013
Projecting the Jets at QB
By Tim Kavanagh
The circus that is the New York Jets' QB situation remained front and center in the NFL consciousness since last offseason, kicked off when the club acquired Tim Tebow in a move that was rightfully criticized at the time; those critics proved sage as Tebow was rarely used, and Mark Sanchez was reduced to a shell of his prior self perhaps in part due to the attention being paid his backup by both fans and media alike. The fact that No. 3 QB Greg McElroy had one of the more memorable wins of the season -- and was installed as the starter over both Sanchez and Tebow late in the campaign -- just underscores how wild of a situation this was in 2012. So will it be any better in 2013?
As we know, the Jets are stuck with Sanchez; the nature of his contract guarantees that they'd take a sizable cap hit even if they released or traded him. Tebow still has a year remaining on his deal as well, and though ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported Sunday that the club will retain him beyond the start of the league year, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which another team gives up anything of value for him at this point. McElroy also remains under contract, and the idea that he could emerge from a competition as the team's Week 1 starter isn't as crazy now as we thought last summer.
There's also the possibility of adding another option via free agency, trade or the draft, though given the Jets' cap situation, adding a high-priced veteran is unlikely. Perhaps new GM John Idzik will strike gold in the middle rounds of the draft again, as he and his associates did in Seattle with Russell Wilson.
Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com assessed the situation in a recent blog post:
Rich CiminiPositional Analysis: Quarterback
"The position will have a different look. The plan is to find a short-term fix while developing someone for the future. Tebow wants out, and he'll get his wish. It'll be an open competition in training camp, with Sanchez battling the most competent, cost-effective veteran they can find. The options include Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Flynn, Matt Moore and, perhaps, Alex Smith, although he probably will be too rich for the Jets' blood. Sanchez has a $12.8 million cap charge, and they can't unload him because of an $8.25 million guarantee. Basically, they're stuck in a stale marriage, hoping new OC Marty Mornhinweg can work a miracle with the former franchise-type QB. Sanchez's cap number is so high it will prevent them from acquiring an expensive alternative -- not that there are any surefire solutions out there."