New York Jets Bench Mark Sanchez For Greg McElroy
Mark Sanchez has officially lost his job as the starting quarterback of the New York Jets, but not to Tim Tebow. No, the man to unseat “The Sanchize” will be Greg McElroy (pictured), a second year player out of the University of Alabama who the Jets selected in the last round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
It took four interceptions and a fumble at the hands of the Tennessee Titans, who eliminated the Jets from playoff contention in a 14-10 win on Monday Night Football, to finally unseat Sanchez and force the hand of Jets head coach Rex Ryan to bench the quarterback he has stood behind for the last four years. "In dealing with it, I told Mark, 'I think we need to make a change,' and he respected my decision," Ryan told reporters about the decision, according to ESPN. "That's not easy, that's for sure."
It has been a steep fall for Sanchez, who in his first two years quarterbacked Jets teams that made back-to-back AFC Championship games. However, in the last two years Sanchez has committed 50 turnovers, the most in the NFL over that time, and the Jets have woefully underperformed. After the Monday Night Football game Sanchez received death threats on Twitter.
The Sanchez benching is problematic for a number of reasons. For one, before the season the Jets signed Sanchez to a lengthy contract extension through 2016, and he is guaranteed $8.25 million next year, a hefty pricetag for a non-starting quarterback.
The other elephant in the room is that Ryan elected to promote McElroy instead of Tebow, who the Jets traded for last spring in a much bally-hooed affair. The Jets had planned to use Tebow in the wildcat offense, which was supposed to play to his strengths as a running quarterback. However, the offense has been a bust and Tebow has played sparingly.
"I have to look at what I think is the best for the team and not necessarily the individual,’’ Ryan added, according to The Boston Globe. ‘‘I’ll say this about Tim and I’ve always said it: I know he wants to help this team be successful in the worst way and there’s no doubt about that.’’
So McElroy will get the keys to the Jets’ sputtering offense. The good news for Jets fans is that in his only action of the season, when he replaced a struggling Sanchez two weeks ago, McElroy went 5-7 for 29 yards and a touchdown in a 7-6 over the Arizona Cardinals. The Jets faithful will find out soon enough whether McElroy is the real deal or just another flash in the pan when the Jets (6-8) face the struggling San Diego Chargers (5-9) on Sunday.