The New York Jets made it officia Tuesday. Greg McElroy will make his first-ever NFL start on Sunday when they host the San Diego Chargers. The team made the announcement official on it's Twitter feed less than 24 hours after their playoff chances were mathematically destroyed in Monday's 14-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
It's the right move for the Jets on many levels. McElroy was responsible for what probably proved to be the most exciting moment of their season, three weeks ago when he came in to relieve the struggling Mark Sanchez and lead the Jets to a 7-6, comeback victory over the Arizona Cardinals. McElroy's reward? He was inactive for the Jets' past two games, behind Tim Tebow on the depth chart.
[Report: Tebow might ask for trade]
McElroy should play every snap at quarterback in these last two games. The Jets might as well see what McElroy is and see how and if he can contribute next season. A lot of Jets fans were all sorts pumped up after the comeback against Arizona - rightfully so - but that also clouded the reality about McElroy. There is a slim chance he can be a legitimate starting NFL quarterback, but it's more likely that he's a backup What the Jets should look for in these last two games are signs that McElroy can at the very most compete for the starting job in training camp next season, whether it's with Sanchez or another veteran free agent that's brought in.
There are many that think the Jets should have started Tebow on Sunday, but he's simply not going to be on the roster next year so there's really no point. He cannot run a pro-style offense and is not a long-term solution at the position, even as a backup because of all the unneeded attention he brings.
And then there's Sanchez. I think you can count on one hand the people in America who think the Jets should start Sanchez on Sunday, or ever again for that matter. If I were the Jets, I would actually take an extreme measure and just deactivate Sanchez for the rest of the season, send him home and get him out of the building. What's the point of him being around the team in practice, on the sideline during games and what not? Just cut the cord.
It's been an incredible fall for Sanchez, the Jets' former first round pick and the guy they pinned the hopes of the franchise on for years. It's apparent that they took a swing in the 2009 Draft and whiffed, and if there is one position in American pro sports that you cannot afford to swing and miss on it's quarterback in the NFL. That usually sets you back years, and that's what has happened to the Jets.
With Sanchez's contract situation, there is still a chance he'll be back next year in some capacity. If the Jets cut him outright, they incur a $17 million cap penalty. There is a possibility that Sanchez can restructure his contract to help facilitate a move, but the chances of that are slim. Now the eyes shift for the next two weeks to McElroy. He doesn't have to show much to merit a spot in the Jets' QB conversation next year.
Ultimately, the fact that the Jets are moving to McElroy late in 2012 and may consider him seriously for their starting job in 2013 tells you all you need to know about where they are as a franchise.