After four years of constant disappointment, the New York Jets must sever ties with quarterback Mark Sanchez and make it clear that they’re moving into the Geno Smith era.
Set to start the Jets’ season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Smith has clearly been handed the reins to the Gang Green offense. Head coach Rex Ryan has finally gotten over his infatuation with Sanchez, and appears ready to move on from his former first-round pick.
On top of showing the rest of the roster that they’re confident in Smith, the Jets need to just bite the bullet and swallow Sanchez’ overpriced salary. A big part of why he was still with New York heading into 2013 was because of his hefty price tag, but keeping him on the roster has quickly become a burden. Even though it would cost them $8.25 million while counting $12.8 million against the cap in 2013, cutting Sanchez is a must for the Jets.
The option is still available that they could wait until later in the season to part with Sanchez. By waiting, they could potentially find a team desperate enough at quarterback to acquire the fifth-year quarterback and his salary. The Jets could also waive Sanchez after the trade deadline and cross their fingers in hopes that someone claims him.
By the time Sanchez returns from his shoulder injury, Smith will likely have locked down the starting job. Assuming that’s the case, the Jets need to just let him walk and put the Sanchez era behind them.
Plus, the former USC standout could benefit from a change of scenery.
At this point in his NFL career, it’s unlikely that Sanchez will ever be a starting quarterback again. With Smith now in the mix, the Jets must focus on the future and cut the cord tethering them to the past.
So long Sanchez.