The New York Jets aren't ready to throw in the towel on Mark Sanchez after taking West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith in second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. The Jets have 8.5 million reasons to keep Sanchez on the roster through an offseason of "butt fumble" jokes.
General manager John Idzik confirmed to ESPN's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" on Tuesday that a "focused, energized, very positive" Sanchez will be part of the "open competition" at quarterback along with Smith, David Garrard and Greg McElroy.
Explaining Monday's waiving of Tim Tebow, Idzik said, "We had six quarterbacks. Something had to give." Although other teams did "a lot of tire-kicking" on Tebow, Idzik never fielded a firm trade offer that made sense for the Jets' best interests.
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Idzik also revealed that Tebow never was considered for a position other than quarterback despite his special teams responsibilities last season.
Sanchez's tenure with the Jets hinges on Smith's showing in training camp. If the rookie proves worthy of a starting job, the coaching staff won't want Sanchez hanging around as a season-long distraction for Smith. If Smith struggles, though, Rex Ryan might be forced to turn back to Sanchez in a last-ditch effort to save his coaching livelihood.