Green Day: Geno should be No. 1 QB

December, 31, 2013
12/31/13
8:00
AM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Is Geno Smith The Guy?

Smith
No doubt, that'll be one of the first questions Tuesday when Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik meet the media for their season-ending news conference. They might not give an answer, hiding behind the semantics of Idzik's competition mantra, but we all know the reality: Smith will go into training camp as the starter.

He started every game and won eight, a fairly impressive feat for a rookie in a new system, surrounded by mediocre skill-position talent. Over the final four weeks, Smith posted the second-highest QBR in the league, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

In short, he didn't do anything to lose the job -- a job, technically, he was never given in the first place. The Jets never anointed him as the starting quarterback. Again, semantics.

No one on the roster is capable of unseating Smith in training camp. Mark Sanchez? He probably won't make it to training camp; he's a likely salary-cap casualty. Matt Simms will be back, but he's not ready to push Smith. David Garrard? Great guy, good mentor, but he probably won't be back.

What about drafting a quarterback? I'd be surprised if Idzik selected a quarterback in the first or second round, one year after investing a second-round pick in Smith. They have too many other needs.

How about a veteran acquisition? Yes, the Jets absolutely must sign a competent veteran because, despite his encouraging finish, Smith still isn't proven commodity. Don't let a few solid games camouflage his 21 interceptions. They need someone who can start in the event of injury or slump. They got away with not having that guy in a rebuilding year, but the expectations will be greater in 2014.

The free-agent class includes Tarvaris Jackson, Josh McCown, Michael Vick and Chad Henne. The Jets have to spent a little extra for a legit No. 1/No. 2 quarterback, someone willing to accept a backup role.

So, yes, the Jets need to bolster the quarterback position, but there's no need for an overhaul. They have their Guy, whether they choose to tell us or not.

ICYMI: As they cleaned out their lockers, the Jets offered strong support for Smith. ... The Jets are reportedly poised to offer Ryan a one-year contract extension. ... Sheldon Richardson should be the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. So says Sheldon Richardson. ... Kicker Nick Folk is looking for a pay day. ... Ed Reed wants to play another year.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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