Rex Ryan confident in Mark Sanchez

Updated: April 29, 2013, 9:35 AM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets coach Rex Ryan expressed confidence Saturday in lame-duck quarterback Mark Sanchez, but wouldn't commit to Sanchez beyond the first OTA practice.

Ryan, in an interview with the NFL Network, said Sanchez would take the "first snap" with the offense. Beyond that, Ryan and general manager John Idzik declined to make any definitive statements about Sanchez's standing with the team.

Sanchez's roster spot was imperiled Friday when the Jets picked former West Virginia star Geno Smith in the second round.

Addressing reporters after the draft, Idzik said he spoke to Sanchez's agent, but not directly to the quarterback. Tim Tebow's job also is in jeopardy. With six quarterbacks on the roster, the Jets have more questions than answers.

"The quarterbacks will be back in Monday and we'll brief them on what occurred over the weekend," Idzik said.

The Jets also have veteran journeyman David Garrard, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms on the roster. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said he could manage a three-man competition in training camp, acknowledging it would be hard to split up the reps if there's more than that.

The Jets are considering releasing Sanchez and Tebow, according to sources. Sanchez's situation is complicated by his contract, an $8.25 million guarantee in 2013. They have to pay him the full amount whether he's on the team or not. It's highly unlikely that Sanchez would agree to a pay cut.

The team would take a massive cap hit by cutting Sanchez -- $12.4 million this year and $4.8 million in 2014 if they designate him a June 1 release.

Ryan I have confidence in Mark Sanchez. I have confidence in all the guys. That's just the way it is and that's the truth. I've said it before: We've won a lot of games with Mark Sanchez.

-- Jets coach Rex Ryan

Pressed on Sanchez, Ryan said he wouldn't have a problem with him as the starting quarterback. But it wasn't an enthusiastic endorsement.

"I have confidence in Mark Sanchez," Ryan said. "I have confidence in all the guys. That's just the way it is and that's the truth. I've said it before: We've won a lot of games with Mark Sanchez.

"In fact, I think our football team, since I've been here as head coach, has actually won more playoff games than the New England Patriots. I'm just throwing that out there. It seems like it gets lost."

Technically, he's right, but the Patriots won an AFC championship in that span. The Jets haven't reached the Super Bowl since 1968.

Idzik reiterated that he wants competition at every position, including quarterback. But it's virtually impossible to keep six quarterbacks. On Monday, teams are permitted on the field for scaled-down practice sessions.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

EDITORS' PICKS

  • Dollars And Sense?
    JPP said he's 'worth a lot of money,' before perhaps his final game with Big Blue.
  • Sayonara
    Hiroki Kuroda is leaving the Yankees and MLB to go back and pitch in Japan.
  • Say What?
    Deron Williams returned to action Friday, off the bench, and that may continue.
  • Too Legit To Quit
    Jets WR Percy Harvin (ribs) sounds determined to play in Sunday's season finale.
  • Chumps!
    We rank our top 10 most loathed New York sports figures of 2014.

ALSO SEE

MORE NFL HEADLINES