As certain as the sun rises in the East each morning, you can count on the New York Jets to cause a controversy at the NFL Draft. Never failing to disappoint, the Jets did just that on Friday evening by selecting West Virginia QB Geno Smith. Smith fell right through the first-round on Thursday and was prepared to return home on Friday but ultimately changed his mind. Internet rumors started buzzing on Friday morning that the Jets would be taking a hard look at Smith with the 39th selection overall.
The Jets got on the clock and pulled the trigger on yet another quarterback, perhaps signalling the end of the Mark Sanchez experiment. New York gave Sanchez an ill-advised contract extension and are on the hook for nearly $9 million this season regardless of Sanchez’s fate.
The move is curious one however. Head coach Rex Ryan is a lame duck this season and might be gone after this season. He cannot be thrilled with the possibility of heading into a pivotal season with a rookie quarterback under center. If they drafted him to sit on the bench, why waste such a high selection when the team has so many needs. It is quite possible that the Jets have decided that Ryan will be gone after next season and the front office pulled the strings in order to get Smith going forward even when Ryan is gone.
New York now has five quarterbacks on the roster. Along with Sanchez, Smith joins Tim Tebow, David Garrard and Greg McElroy. Perhaps Rex Ryan is planning some sort of new offensive scheme. In all seriousness though, someone has to go.
Tebow should have already been released at this point and you have to now wonder about Sanchez’s fate. Will the Jets continue the quarterback circus or simply accept they have made a mistake with Sanchez and cut him loose. The New York media have already jumped on to the Geno Smith bandwagon and are demanding that he be the starter on opening day despite not even signing a contract yet.
Last year’s spectacular rookie quarterback class seriously raised the bar on what fans expect now from rookies in their first year. Don’t expect Geno Smith to be this year’s Russell Wilson or Robert Griffin III. Those were different situations and the Jets still need help at wide receiver and tight end.
It is possible that we’ve seen the last of Sanchez in a Jets uniform and perhaps that is best for all parties involved.