It's now Geno Smith's team in New York, if any doubt remained.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has decided to undergo season-ending surgery on his torn labrum. Sanchez hopes to delay surgery another week or two, but he knows surgery is inevitable and that his season is over. Sanchez faces a four- to six-month recovery, according to a person informed of the rehabilitation process.
In one sense, Sanchez is doing the Jets a favor. He has no future with the team, and a potential return to the sideline this season only would create a distraction. On the other hand, the Jets designated Sanchez to return when they placed him on injured reserve. Each NFL team only can use that tag one time in a season, and the Jets burned it on Sanchez. Someone in the organization clearly was hopeful that Sanchez would play again this season. (We doubt that someone was general manager John Idzik.)
Despite Smith's up-and-down play, the rookie has shown potential in his first four starts. The Jets need to play Smith and live with the roller-coaster. It's better than what Sanchez gave them last year, when his arrow simply was pointed down.
Sanchez, who has two years left on his contract, likely will be released at the end of the season. The timing of the surgery should allow Sanchez to get healthy in time for the 2014 free-agency period. Look for a team to give Sanchez a shot as a backup quarterback, but his days competing for a starting job are over.
This is the day Jets fans have pined for. They won't have Sanchez to kick around anymore.