Why Joe Namath is wrong
Drafting Geno Smith where they did made plenty of sense for the Jets
If you're a New York Jets fan, make a little note on your fridge-sized schedule or put a reminder in your Outlook calendar: A few minutes after halftime of the Week 7 game between the Jets and Patriots this upcoming season, Mark Sanchez will have made a little more than $5 million toward his total cap hit of $12.85 million for 2013. That number is notable for this reason: That $5 million is what Geno Smith is going to make over the four years of rookie deal he'll sign with the Jets -- total.
It won't matter if Smith has Jay-Z or Jay Mohr as his agent -- that total is locked in. At that point, remind those who think drafting Smith was a mistake, or not a big need -- as Joe Namath stated this week -- that what the Jets will pay Sanchez for nearly 50 percent of what should be his last, lame-duck season, they'll likely pay Smith on the entirety of his first contract. This means that at its highest point, Smith's first deal will never represent a cap hit of even 2 percent of the Jets total salary cap.
And whether Smith ever becomes a great player, a good player, or merely a quality backup, New York's decision to draft him where it did was a smart one. Maybe he wasn't a "need" by the technical standards of Namath's definition -- yes, Sanchez is available to start football games. Namath and so many suffering Jets fans have been exposed to so much lunacy in decision-making at the QB position that it's easy to forget that smart franchises don't find the best QB value when it's a huge need -- they find it and have the chance to develop a player when it's not.
The decision on Smith, and New York's draft strategy as a whole, actually makes a lot of sense, and there a number of reasons why. Here are five:
To see why Joe Namath is offbase with his comments about the Jets' selection of Geno Smith, plus to gain access to all of Insider's NFL draft content, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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