When Mark Sanchez went under the knife to repair his busted shoulder this week, it also had the effect of severing the quarterback's ties to the New York Jets.
With a $13.1 million cap charge in 2014, the Jets almost certainly will release their erstwhile golden child after the season. This is Geno Smith's team now, leaving Sanchez as a link to the team's past but not its future.
This is a reality Rex Ryan tried to tiptoe around during his Wednesday press conference. It wasn't easy.
"We're acting like he's dead. Mark Sanchez is not dead," Ryan said. "Sanchez is going to be 100 percent healthy, guys. It's not like his career's over. He's going to play again."
Ryan was asked directly if Sanchez ever will play for the Jets again.
"I don't want to get into that," he replied, later adding. "Whether he's here or whatever, our thing is doing what's best for Mark, which would be to get him healthy."
It was Rex Ryan who stuck Sanchez behind an offensive line of scrubs in the Jets' third preseason game, a fateful decision that led to the quarterback suffering his shoulder injury. Ryan gets to fight to keep his job this season. Sanchez never got the chance.
Given all the two have been through together, you have to wonder if Ryan feels guilty. We might have to wait for the next book to find out.The "Around The League Podcast" is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.