New York Jets fans, like fans of any team, gain attachments to certain players and ideas about their team. Unfortunately that could lead to irrational thoughts and hopes for the off-season, particularly an off-season that is going to be step one in a rebuilding process. The Jets have no shortage of these. Before Twitter is flooded with “FIRE IDZIK” “IDIOT IDZIK” type commentary, prepare yourself for the following -
Mark Sanchez is most likely going to be the starting quarterback next year
Yes – He is going to come back because no team in the NFL will be interested in trading for him and because he isn’t going to re-negotiate his contract to take less guaranteed money. Sanchez will be on this roster and be a prime competitor for the starting job, along with a veteran and probably a mid-level draft pick. Considering he will be the opening day starter in training camp and has experience with the roster, he is the prohibitive favorite to win the job.
If Sanchez is comparable to the other options throughout the summer, he is going to get the starting nod. Why? The Jets have way more invested in him. If he puts together a competent 2013, there will be some type of trade market established for him and he remains a veteran option to compete with a rookie added in the 2014 Draft. Don’t think for a second if somebody like Tavaris Jackson or Matt Moore is signed and they play about the same as Sanchez in August, they are going to get the go-ahead to start. Will Sanchez have a much quicker hook this year? Absolutely. But if you were betting today on who will start the most games for the Jets at quarterback next year, the safest bet is Sanchez.
What is frustrating (outside of Sanchez’s horrific regression in 2012) is the personal hatred of Sanchez has reached such a high level among some fans that it seems they will openly root against him having any success next year, which of course makes no sense. It is only better for the Jets if he plays competently. For people who say that is abjectly hopeless, Sanchez’s career shows he is just as likely to have a 17 touchdown, 13 interception or 26 touchdown, 18 interception season as he is to bomb out the way he did last year. Sanchez isn’t a good quarterback but take away the Tim Tebow Wildcat Shuffle Circus, give him a somewhat threatening running game and upgrade above Mardy Gilyard, Clyde Gates and Chaz Schilens at wide receiver and the possibility exists for a 56 completion percentage, 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions…AKA competent game-managing at quarterback.
When people say there are higher odds of Greg McElroy being an effective quarterback in Marty Mornhinweg’s offense, what are they substantiating that claim with? We’ve seen Mark Sanchez have a QB Rating above 100 in 15 NFL games that he started, including three playoff games. We’ve never seen Greg McElroy do that, we’ve just seen him be completely overwhelmed in his only NFL start. At least Sanchez has the skill set and knowledge he has done it before.
Only one of the following will be back next year: LaRon Landry, Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis
The odds of every single one of these three players being on the Jets roster next year is just about zero. The odds of two of the three of them being on the roster is fairly low as well. Successful teams are not built by dumping a third of the salary cap into your secondary while the rest of the roster crumbles around it. If Landry is requesting 7 million per year, the Jets are going to let him walk. You can’t pay that type of money for a safety who is average in pass coverage. When it comes to Revis and Cromartie, you can’t pay both long term. Trade one, get draft picks back and reallocate the money to the offense and the painfully awful group of linebackers.
The Jets have the most overpaid wide receiver, linebacker and quarterback in football
Santonio Holmes is going to be a 12.5 million dollar cap hit next year, second highest among wide receivers. David Harris is going to be a 13 million dollar cap hit next year, second highest among linebackers. Mark Sanchez is a 12.8 million dollar cap hit next year. None of these players are even top 25 in the league at their respective positions. That is what we call a financial disaster, my fellow Jets fans.
When you say things like, how can you pay Mark Sanchez but let LaRon Landry go?!? It all sounds well and good but that ship has sailed. The Jets made their bed with Sanchez and now they have to lay in it. Get ready for the reality of unpopular players like Sanchez and Dustin Keller (with a franchise tag) being back while guys like Landry and Cromartie OR Revis leave town. These are financial decisions. This team needs to be rebuilt with a more equitable distribution of the wealth so talent can be replenished on offense and linebacker. This team needs draft picks so they can establish depth and don’t have people like Jeff Cumberland, Garret McIntyre, and Chaz Schilens starting games.