Jets Brass Reportedly Conflicted on Starting Mark Sanchez or Greg McElroy

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 02:  Greg McElroy #14 of the New York Jets talks with quarterback coach Matt Cavanaugh while teammate Mark Sanchez#6 and Tim Tebow #15 stand by in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals on December 2, 2012 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The New York Jets defeated the Arizona Cardinals 7-6.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

And so it begins. 

After Mark Sanchez was benched in the middle of the game in favor of Greg McElroy, who promptly led the New York Jets to a rousing 7-6 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, rumors are circulating that the front office and coaching staff are now divided as to who should start this weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars

Never a dull moment for the Jets, right? From Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News:

I'm told owner Woody Johnson prefers Greg McElroy to be starting QB. GM Mike Tannenbaum & OC Tony Sparano prefer Mark Sanchez this week #nyj

— Manish Mehta(@MMehtaNYDN) December 4, 2012

UPDATE: Wednesday, December 5 at 7:49 a.m. ET

Rex Ryan is expected to announce Mark Sanchez the starter for Sunday's game against the Jaguars, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Though nothing is final, one team source said he's "almost certain" that Jets HC Rex Ryan will name Mark Sanchez his starting quarterback.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 5, 2012

---End of Update---

Apparently, we'll have a decision on the matter by Wednesday (via Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger):

According to two people with knowledge of the situation, the decision on who will start will be made no later than early Wednesday. Those people requested anonymity because the Jets will not make details of the decision public. One of those people said the decision will come from a collection of meetings between general manager Mike Tannenbaum, Ryan and the offensive coaches.

So, um, does anyone know whom the head coach prefers?

On The Michael Kay Show, Ryan noted he would play whoever gives the team the best chance to win. On Sunday, that was clearly McElroy. But is he really the long-term solution for this team, or even the best option for the rest of the year?

Reading the subtext, Ryan seems to be suggesting he's not going to concern himself with any non-football related matters when making this decision, i.e. the fact that Sanchez is owed $8.25 million in guaranteed money next year.

Previously, it was thought the Jets would be crazy to bench Sanchez during the season, a man they had a huge financial commitment to as the starting quarterback.

But Sanchez is fresh off throwing three interceptions in the first half against the Cardinals, bringing his total to 13 for the year (as opposed to 12 touchdowns). If ever there were a moment to make a switch, this is probably it.

That's one school of thought. The other is hoping the Arizona game will serve as a wake-up call for Sanchez. If he stinks it up against Jacksonville, then it's time to make the switch.

Oh, and there's one other factor that we haven't considered yet: Tim Tebow. The quarterback is recovering from broken ribs, but you know Jets fans are itching to see Tebowmania in action. He gave an update on his playing status (via Brian Costello of the New York Post):

Tebow is trying to get back on the field as he recovers from broken ribs. He had X-rays taken Sunday to see how they are healing, and as of yesterday had not gotten the results.

"I'm not sure [how close I am to playing]," Tebow said. "I feel like I'm healing up and getting there. I think it's just a trainer, doctor and coach thing now."

If McElroy gets the nod and struggles, will we ever see Tebow get his shot? I'd expect to see Sanchez as the team's starter this weekend, but no matter what happens, it should be fun to watch.

 

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