|Mark Sanchez will be the Jets' quarterback next season. (AP photo)|
This season, the question has switched from Sanchez being the team's possible franchise quarterback to whether or not the Jets should cut him loose this offseason and start anew. If you look at his play this season, especially against the Giants and Dolphins, the answer would be he isn't ready to lead a franchise for the next 10 years. No way. But the answer is never that simple.
First, Sanchez has never had an offensive coordinator that allowed him to succeed on the field. Schottenheimer always appeared to take the ball out of Sanchez's hands on big plays, instead of letting the quarterback make a play. He calls more draw plays than even he should find it hard to admit. He calls for the wildcat package to be run at inopportune times. And, whether it's Sanchez's fault or not, their is absolutely no vertical passing game to speak of.
Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress, two big offseason signings, were barely used as weapons this season. Is that Sanchez's fault or Schottenheimer's? It would be interesting to see how Sanchez would perform with a new play-caller next season.
For that reason, Sanchez should be given at least one more year to prove he can be the Jets franchise quarterback of the now and the future.
Second, the bigger question is who is going to replace Sanchez next season? Good quarterbacks don't become available in the NFL. When was the last time there was a marquee quarterback on the free agency market? I can't name one. So, do you really want Kyle Orton playing quarterback for the Jets next season instead of Sanchez? Of course not.
How about drafting another quarterback and starting completely over with a rookie passer? Well, the Jets aren't getting Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, so do you really want to take the chance on drafting another Blaine Gabbert in the middle of the first round? That would make zero sense.
The one and only way the Jets could improve the quarterback position next season would be if the Indianapolis Colts somehow decided to trade Peyton Manning. The Colts most likely will draft Luck with the No. 1 overall pick come April, so there is a slim, real slim, chance the team would part with Manning. But the chances of that happening are probably less than five percent. Maybe less than two percent.
Sanchez regressed this season so badly that these questions are running rampant after a embarrassing end to an embarrassing season. But there simply aren't any options to make a change. Better yet, with a different offensive coordinator, maybe Sanchez can finally prove he is the Jets franchise quarterback.