The experiment failed, and it feels like the New York Jets, regardless of who will be running the ship next season, are about to break apart their media-magnet, on-the-field terrible quarterback duo. Mark Sanchez is no longer a franchise quarterback, and Tim Tebow, without even really getting a chance, will move on to somewhere else.
There’s no question that under the current regime, there’s no hope for Tebow. It doesn’t seem like he wants to be part of it anymore, anyway. When you’re brought in to compete for the starting quarterback position and eventually dropped and bypassed by a third string quarterback, Greg McElroy, that says everything. The Jets are out of contention, and they’re starting McElroy, building for the future.
Mark Sanchez should have been the franchise quarterback for the Jets, but it looks like he’s only regressed coming into the end of his fourth year in the NFL, with one more season left on his contract. He leads the NFL in turnovers over the last couple of seasons with an astonishing 35 interceptions and 15 lost fumbles. He turned the ball over five times last weekend, as the final chance of making the postseason died in his disappointing arms.
Back to Tebow, who somehow, after leading a team to the postseason on his bare legs and even winning a playoff game with a huge overtime touchdown throw, became an unwanted persona in Denver and eventually for the Jets. It’s a case of not letting facts confuse you. Tebow may have had wins in Denver, but seeing his awful passing numbers and the way he throws the ball, the conclusion was that it was just a lucky case of his leadership skills carrying him and his team way beyond where they should be. Tebow is a media magnet and good for jersey sales and fan interest, but just by being present he creates quite a lot of turmoil if he isn’t the first quarterback.
Trading him is possible, but they’re not going to get much for a player who threw only 8 passes in 11 games and ran for 32 more yards, used as pretty much everything, including punt blocker, except for the position he wants to play in. The Jets could try and improve his value by playing him till the end of the season, but they just don’t think he’s good enough. They’ve given up on Sanchez this season, so it seems, and will hope McElroy can win a spot for next season, although with the Jets, thinking of big names is always the first option.
Problems? Cap space, obviously. Mark Sanchez is owed $8.25 million next season, $12.25 million under the salary cap. The Jets are already committed with $141 million to contracts for next season. Regardless of what they do with Sanchez, they need to cut about $20 million from their salary cap. They’re thinking about going for Michael Vick of Alex Smith in free agency, but at the moment, with their current crop of disappointing players, they won’t be getting anyone.