Mark Sanchez began his New York Jet career with two straight A.F.C Championship games. The past two seasons the Jets and Sanchez have struggled. New York Jet fans have soured on Sanchez. The quarterback and the franchise would benefit from a change of scenery in 2013.
Here are five realistic options for Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum to explore for 2013. Sorry Jets fans, Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III will not be available in next year’s draft and the Giants will not trade Eli Manning for a third round pick.
#5 Tim Tebow: If coach Rex Ryan thought Tim Tebow were a legitimate option, he would already have had an opportunity. The main thing Tebow has going for him is owner Woody Johnson’s support. You can’t underestimate the value of having the guy who signs the checks in your corner. Forgetting the hype and circus atmosphere he brings, Tim Tebow did lead the Broncos to a division title and a rousing playoff victory last season.
#4 Alex Smith: The San Francisco 49er quarterback appeared to have gotten his career on track after a strong 2011 regular season and playoff run. But an injury struck and Colin Kaepernick seized the job. Smith’s drawback is he appears to be a Sanchez clone: a good game manager when supported by a strong team. The Jets would have to give the 49ers a draft pick or an asset in return for Smith.
#3 Matt Barkley: Rejoice Jets fans. Another mediocre armed U.S.C quarterback who padded his stats by throwing to all world receivers in the defensively challenged PAC 12 may be available. The Heisman front runner entering the season suffered an injury before the year ended. The injury, combined with doubt about Barkley’s arm strength has caused his draft status to drop.
#2 Matt Flynn: Matt Flynn has started two games in his N.F.L. career with incredible results. He entered 2012 as the presumed starter for the Seattle Seahawks after signing a hefty free agent deal. Russell Wilson won the Seahawks job in the preseason and has not looked back. The Jets could probably pick up Flynn for a late round pick or claim him after the Seahawks release him.
#1 Michael Vick: If you scratch just beneath the surface, Michael Vick may be the best fit of all the players who will likely be available. I know the drawbacks; the inconsistency and the injuries. But Vick is the anti-Sanchez, a quarterback who can make something out of nothing. Since the Jets lack skill position players, Vick would give the Jets a fighting chance. He would be a relatively inexpensive option and would satisfy Woody Johnson’s fascination with big name quarterbacks.