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Rex Ryan: Mark Sanchez's contract not factor in QB call

Mark Sanchez was the the lesser of three evils to start at quarterback for the New York Jets this week, in part because of his contractual situation. Coach Rex Ryan, however, said Wednesday that Sanchez's guaranteed money had "absolutely zero" to do with the decision.

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We believe Ryan here. He's desperately trying to win games to potentially save his job and put some lipstick on this pig of a 2012 season. We don't fully believe Ryan's following statement:

"I don't get any pressure from (owner) Woody (Johnson). I'm fortunate. I have a great relationship with my owner, with Woody. We have conversations -- open conversations -- all the time. We can say things to each other and all that. But where I'm real fortunate is from the day Mr. Johnson hired me, he said it's 100 percent my decision on who plays and what their role is. And that's it."

Johnson reportedly favored Greg McElroy as the choice this week. So Ryan made his own decision, but Johnson's "pressure" and fingerprints are all over this Jets quarterback mess. Why did the Jets acquire Tim Tebow? Why did they give Mark Sanchez an unnecessary apology contract?

Tebow, meanwhile, will be the No. 2 quarterback if healthy against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. So the hometown Jacksonville crowd might get to see him run a few plays after all. They just shouldn't go for a beer during punts, because that's the only time we know Tebow for sure will be on the field.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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