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Who Should Start for the Jets?


It certainly wasn’t a shock that the New York Jets cut Tim Tebow this week, but their quarterback situation still hasn’t improved much.

The Jets are now down to five quarterbacks and although most teams will take three or four into training camp, the Jets are giving each of the five a shot at winning what used to be one of the most coveted starting spots in the NFL.

According to new Jets GM John Idzik via ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning”, the competition is wide open and that leaving it wide open is a strategy that he feels will benefit each quarterback as the team looks for its week one starter.

“Mark’s [Sanchez] in the competition,” Idzik said. “We fully expect it will help him get better. It’ll help David [Garrard] get better. It’ll help Greg [McElroy]. It’ll help Matt Simms. It’ll certainly help Geno [Smith].”

Idzik obviously has to say the competition is open to inspire all of his guys to play hard in camp and in the preseason, but is it really that open? Are we supposed to believe that Simms or McElroy will get the nod if they perform well? In reality, it seems like this race has three horses in it.

So, out of those three, who deserves to be under center for the Jets when the season kicks off? More importantly, who will be? With the Jets organization, those two questions have often resulted in different answers in recent years.

If we talking about who should start, then it would probably be Garrard. Of course, he has to prove he can still play in training camp and in the preseason, but almost anyone is a better option than Sanchez at this point. Then there’s Smith, who has a ton of upside, but he’s a rookie and the Jets are…well…bad. So, throwing him in there too early could be bad news, especially considering one of the biggest knocks against him is that he doesn’t handle adversity well. Sorry to tell ya kid, but you will face more than your fair share in New York and if you don’t find a way to win, they’ll run you out of town. Just look what happened to Tebow.

But who will really “win” the job? It will almost assuredly be Sanchez. Like him or not, he has the most recent experience of the three in Rex Ryan’s “offense.” Not only that, but he has a guaranteed $8.25 million coming to him this season regardless of what happens and that’s cash that New York doesn’t want to see sit on the bench.

However, just because Sanchez starts the season doesn’t mean he’ll finish it. It’s actually quite likely that he won’t, considering how the Jets won’t be any better than they were a year ago. And it’s hard to imagine Sanchez has gotten any better either.

So, if Sanchez gets pulled midseason, who will replace him? I guess that depends on how the season is going. My guess is that New York will be in a hole – probably with almost no shot of making the playoffs – by the time Ryan gives Sanchez the hook. And if that’s the way things play out, then Smith should get the call. They certainly don’t want to throw him in there too early, but if there’s not much to lose and only valuable experience to gain, then giving Smith the ball would probably benefit the team in the longrun. And hey, who knows? Maybe Smith is the guy who can get this ugly offense in shape.

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