The rookie contract obviously comes as no real shock, as Smith has stated in the past that he would not let his negotiations get in the way of potentially earning the starting quarterback job. With training camp and preseason competition nearing, the Jets officially have a quarterback battle on their hands — and yes you can say, here we go again.
The good news for New York is that the positional competition will be a little less of a circus, simply considering the fact that Tim Tebow is no longer a member of the organization. Either way, the pressure is squarely on Mark Sanchez, who virtually became one of the more disliked professional athletes in the New York area for his play — or lack thereof — from a season ago.
Many do believe that Smith, who fell to the Jets in the second round of this past spring’s NFL Draft, will eventually be the future quarterback for the Jets, but that doesn’t mean that Sanchez won’t still be the guy in New York when Week 1 arrives. Sanchez does have the experience and believe it or not, he did have some early, postseason success to begin his career.
With that being said however, Sanchez needs to prove his worth. He’s already had more than enough chances. If he stumbles early on — possibly even in training camp or in the preseason, Smith should be the one to take over. The Jets, and Rex Ryan especially, can’t afford to waste any more time or games debating a decision. They did enough of that with Tebow last year.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS