For the past few years the New York Jets have been a sports journalists dream, constantly providing stories as they have transformed from proud football franchise to a circus act. This season appears to be no different, with the newest addition being a potential carousel at the Quarterback position.
Embattled starter Mark Sanchez began his career by taking the Jets to the AFC championship game in each of his first two seasons, but has struggled mightily over the past two seasons, turning the ball over an astonishing 52 times over that span. Gaudy turnover numbers like this drew the ire of fans last season, and justifiably so. As a result coach Rex Ryan and Jets management drafted highly touted Geno Smith in this year’s draft, and signed former Jacksonville Jaguars starter David Garrard, to accompany the infamous Tim Tebow in pushing Sanchez this offseason.
The headlines began when Tebow was released by the Jets, removing at least part of the media circus from the team. Earlier this week, the competition took another surprising turn with the retirement of David Garrard before even attending any OTAs.
This competition is now down to the struggling incumbent Sanchez and the mobile rookie Smith. Smith began his senior season at West Virginia on a tear, but sputtered a bit down the stretch. Along with being dubbed a ‘diva’ by the media, he fell from being a potential top ten pick all the way to the second round of this year’s draft.
The prediction here is that Sanchez will win the preseason competition simply because he is the veteran familiar with the offense and has a massive contract. This isn’t a vote of confidence for Sanchez, rather a result of his massive 5 year $58 million dollar contract eating up too much cap space to sit on the bench, and Rex Ryan’s refusal to give up on the Sanchize. By week 4 however, after several bad outings, Ryan will bench Sanchez in favor of Smith with fans calling for the change. Smith will also struggle, and will start a revolving door at quarterback for the remainder of the year. With the media circus the Jets have created, is a return of Tebowmania out of the question? You can’t rule anything out with this team, and although they don’t appear to be Super Bowl bound, you can bet they will be entertaining to watch this season as they grab headline after headline.
Written By: Charlie Gille