Post-Garrard, Jets must keep Mark Sanchez
May, 15, 2013
By James Walker | ESPN.com
If there was any doubt about the immediate future of quarterback Mark Sanchez with the New York Jets, all questions should've been answered on Wednesday.
Sanchez and his $8.25 million guaranteed salary will remain in New York through the entire 2013 season. Veteran quarterback David Garrard’s decision to walk away from the Jets due to a balky knee sealed any possibility of New York releasing Sanchez. New York’s quarterback competition has been reduced to four quarterbacks. But in reality there's only two legitimate options: Sanchez and rookie Geno Smith.
There was some debate of whether Sanchez would last in New York. The Jets would like to get rid of his huge salary but didn’t want to take the enormous cap hit. However, Garrard had an opportunity to beat out Sanchez and provide the veteran leadership needed in New York's quarterback room.
But post-Garrard, the Jets definitely need Sanchez now. He’s the only Jets quarterback with extensive experience. Sanchez is a four-year starter who has won playoff games and advanced to the AFC title game in back-to-back years following the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Smith, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms have one career start between them.
Garrard, 35, would have served as a good person for New York’s young quarterbacks to lean on. He also has playoff experience and spent most of his career in a West Coast offense, which gave him an advantage under new Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. But a balky knee makes it all a moot point at this stage.
It's going to be either Sanchez or Smith under center in Week 1 for the Jets when they host Darrelle Revis and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But perhaps the biggest winner is McElroy or Simms, who now have a chance to latch on as New York's third quarterback.
Final San Diego 22 Buffalo 10 Final Dallas 34 St. Louis 31 Final Washington 34 Philadelphia 37 Final Houston 17 New York 30 Final Minnesota 9 New Orleans 20 Final Tennessee 7 Cincinnati 33 Final Baltimore 23 Cleveland 21 Final Green Bay 7 Detroit 19 Final Indianapolis 44 Jacksonville 17 Final Oakland 9 New England 16 Final San Francisco 14 Arizona 23 Final/OT Denver 20 Seattle 26 Final Kansas City 34 Miami 15 Final Pittsburgh 37 Carolina 19