Jets name Mark Sanchez starting quarterback

Even following his rough outing in the Jets’ second preseason game on Monday night, head coach Rex Ryan named rookie Mark Sanchez the team’s starting quarterback.


Despite a rough start against the Ravens in his last preseason game, Sanchez never lost his cool and battled back. The team has been impressed with his command of the huddle and the offense. Sources say the team has been impressed with how much he has not looked like a rookie. Drafted out of USC, Sanchez has gone 6-of-12 in two preseason games, with one touchdown pass and one interception.

Clemens, in his fourth season, is 9-of-14 for 84 yards in the preseason. He also has one score and one pick. Entering his fourth season with the Jets after being a second-round pick in 2006, Clemens also had a solid but unspectacular camp, but threw 12 interceptions compared to the rookie’s five.

I’m sure Ryan would have wanted a better performance out of Sanchez on Monday night before he made his decision official, but it’s not like Clemens did anything this summer to merit the job, so why delay the announcement?

The good news for Sanchez is that the Jets offensive line is solid. They also have a trio of backs in Leon Washington, Thomas Jones and rookie Shonn Greene that are more than capable of taking some of the pressure off Sanchez in his first year.

The bad news is that the Jets aren’t giving Sanchez a lot to work with in terms of receivers. Jerricho Cotchery is underrated and has been a consistent, productive receiver throughout his career. But he’s not a player that will keep defensive coordinators up at night and after him, the Jets will rely heavily on the inexperienced crop of Chansi Stuckey, David Clowney and Brad Smith.

If Sanchez continues to show the poise he did on Monday night when things weren’t going his way, he should do fine. That’s not to say that he’ll have a Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco-type rookie year and lead the Jets to the playoffs, but success can’t always measured in whether or not a quarterback can get his team to the postseason. (Especially if said quarterback is a rookie.)

Don’t go crazy on draft day and pick Sanchez in the middle rounds. He’s a rookie QB, and they’re notoriously undependable in fantasy circles, especially with all the depth available in leagues that only start one QB. It probably would have been better for the Jets WRs (especially Cotchery) if Clemens had won the job, as the two had shown a nice rapport in the past. Sanchez will no doubt have his ups and downs, so that means the Jets receivers are likely to as well.

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Jets sign Mark Sanchez to five-year, $50 million contract

The Jets reached a deal with No. 5 overall pick Mark Sanchez on Wednesday night, signing him to a $50 million contract that includes $28 million in guarantees. In comparison, the No. 3 overall pick in last year’s draft, Matt Ryan, received a six-year, $66 million deal with $34.75 million in guarantees from the Falcons.

Ironically, Sanchez, at least initially, was given more guaranteed money that No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford was. Stafford is only guaranteed $17 million according to this article, and not the $42 million that was initially reported. The rest of the “guaranteed” portion of Stafford’s contract is actually incentive based, which is pretty fair. (Again, this is assuming that the article I linked to is accurate.)

Getting back to Sanchez, he took less short-term money than Ryan in order to hit free agency sooner. The contract also has incentives that could max his deal out at $60 million, which is still a bargain considering the position he plays and how high he was drafted. It’s really a good deal for the Jets and it’s huge that they were able to sign him fast and therefore not have to worry about the threat of a holdout.

Now all Sanchez has to worry about is beating out Kellen Clemens for the starting job. All indications are that Sanchez will get the opportunity to be the starter as a rookie, but word has it that Clemens has looked sharp thus far in practice and isn’t ready to give into the GQ model.

I should note that I’m not in favor of the rookie salary structure in the NFL. Whether it’s a good deal for the Jets or not to have signed Sanchez for that amount of money compared to what he could have made give the day and age we’re in, it’s still absolutely ridiculous that a player who has never taken a snap in the NFL to get that much money. Something has to be done.

Should Sanchez start for Jets as a rookie?

Even though it appears he’s stating more of his opinion rather than actual fact, Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post writes that Mark Sanchez is going to start for the Jets next season. He notes that Sanchez can be a game manager and can certainly handle the offense, although he also notes that the Jets will likely rely on their defense early in the season in order to allow the rookie to gain confidence.

Before the 2008 season, I wrote how the Falcons should start Matt Ryan because he was the most NFL-ready quarterback in last year’s draft. I also noted that since Atlanta’s roster was so young, he should take his lumps with the rest of his inexperienced teammates and they could grow together. (Of course, while I was right on that projection, I was also the idiot that said the Falcons should have drafted Glenn Dorsey with the third overall pick and then fill their quarterback need with Brian Brohm in the second round.)

When the notion of starting a rookie quarterback is brought up, most pundits and fans rattle of the list of signal callers that eventually succumbed to the pressure (David Carr, Joey Harrington, etc, etc), and therefore note how awful of an idea it is. But Ryan and Joe Flacco’s performances last year might have gone a long way in changing that mindset, and you can’t leave Ben Roethlisberger out of the discussion of quarterbacks that started as rookies and went on to have great success.

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Jets to trade up for Mark Sanchez?

According to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio and a report by the New York Daily News, the Jets will look into trading up for USC quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Southern Cal QB Mark Sanchez is the draft’s hottest player and the Jets are expected to make a run at moving up from their No. 17 spot in an attempt to get him on Saturday. The problem is that Sanchez is so hot, he might go in the top five, which is way out of the Jets’ reach.

If he gets to the Jags’ spot at No. 8, the price would be a second-round pick and a little more. That would be a wise investment for the Jets. They need a quarterback.

I love it. Three months ago, Sanchez couldn’t hold Matthew Stafford or even Ryan Leaf’s jock strap and now the Rams, Seahawks, Browns, Jaguars, Redskins and Jets will all apparently be tripping over themselves in order to get him come Saturday.

It’s hard to trust anything you read days before the draft. You just don’t know what teams are trying to trade down and therefore are lying through their teeth in order to scare other teams into trading up. All of them are using smokescreens right now and the media is eating everything up trying to be the first to report rumors.

I’m sticking with my prediction that he’ll be a Cleveland Brown by the end of the day Saturday, but I fully recognize that the Rams, Seahawks, Jaguars, Redskins, Jets, Bucs, Falcons, Cowboys, Bears, Broncos, Dolphins, Patriots, Steelers, 49ers, Saints, Panthers and Colts are all very, very interested in the next coming of Y.A. Tittle.

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