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Monday, April 29, 2013
Which Jets QBs will stay; which will go?

By James Walker

After Monday's release of Tim Tebow, the New York Jets have five quarterbacks on their roster. Other than second-round draft pick Geno Smith, no quarterback on the roster is guaranteed to be on the Week 1 roster.

Geno Smith
Geno Smith has a shot at starting this season in New York.
So who in New York will stay and who will go?

Let's examine odds for the remaining quarterbacks.

No. 1: Geno Smith

Analysis: The Jets liked Smith so much in this draft that they considered the former West Virginia quarterback with the No. 13 overall pick in the first round. But New York took defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson instead. The Jets felt fortunate when Smith, widely regarded as the best quarterback in this draft, fell in their lap at No. 39. He is now the quarterback of the future and maybe the present. Although Smith’s role in 2013 is yet to be determined, he will be on New York’s 53-man roster.

Odds of staying: 100 percent

No. 2: Mark Sanchez

Analysis: It’s been a rough year for Sanchez. In March of 2012 he signed a $58.25 million contract extension with New York and things quickly went downhill. Sanchez had an awful 2012 campaign and was benched late in the season. However, Sanchez’s contract guarantees him $8.25 million this year. Cutting Sanchez would cost New York the guaranteed salary and a $12.35 million cap hit. There have been reports that the Jets are considering it, but I will believe it when I see it. It’s cheaper to let Sanchez play out the year, either as a starter or expensive backup. New York’s cap is too tight for the Jets to take that kind of hit.

Odds of staying: 75 percent

No. 3: David Garrard

David Garrard
David Garrard hasn't played for two seasons but would be a solid veteran presence.
Analysis: Garrard is a good fit for the Jets in a variety of ways. He has a lot of experience playing in a West Coast offense and can be a veteran leader for the group of quarterbacks on the field or from the sideline. Garrard hasn’t thrown a regular-season pass in two years, but he does have a chance to compete and should earn one of the three available roster spots if he can stay healthy.

Odds of staying: 70 percent

No. 4: Greg McElroy

Analysis: McElroy is a popular player among Jets fans. He’s smart and played winning football in college. But McElroy had his chance to play for the Jets last year after Sanchez was benched and didn't produce. McElroy is an OK option as a No. 3 quarterback, but the Jets do not need that right now. Barring injuries to other Jets quarterbacks, don't expect "Big Mac" to make the team.

Odds of staying: 15 percent

No. 5: Matt Simms

Analysis: Simms is the son of popular former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms. But mostly he's a camp body. With so many quarterbacks on the roster, Simms has virtually no chance to make the Jets.

Odds of staying: Zero

Due to various reasons listed above, the three quarterbacks most likely to stick with the Jets in September are Smith, Sanchez and Garrard. That’s a competitive trio that the Jets would want to bring the best out of each other this season.