Despite Greg McElroy's season-saving drive against the Cardinals—the most celebrated 5-for-7 in team history, perhaps—Mark Sanchez is still the Jets' quarterback. Sanchez will start Sunday in Jacksonville, McElroy will return to holding a clipboard, and the Jets drama train rolls on.
Rex Ryan informed the team of his decision at today's morning meeting, after playing coy for a few days. No word if the announcement was greeted with cheers, or groans, or resigned sighs, but it'll be Sanchez again, against a woeful Jaguars team, on the road where he won't be booed—if he craps the bed there, there'll probably be no going back.
CBS's Jason LaCanfora says that the decision to return to Sanchez was not a unanimous one, with "much disagreement internally" as to who should be under center. Yesterday the Daily News reported that Rex Ryan spent Monday meeting with his superiors, and hearing their preferences. GM Mike Tannenbaum and OC Tony Sparano backed Sanchez; owner Woody Johnson was in favor of sticking with McElroy. Presumably Johnson would have put his foot down if he wanted, but if Sanchez fails again, it's Rex Ryan's neck on the block.
Sanchez has had to deal with criticism from fans and media every year he's been in New York, but he's never faced a true threat to his job. Some thought signing Tebow would be the kick in the pants he needed, but Tebow never turned into a viable quarterback option. Not that McElroy is much better, but physically being benched should be a sign to Sanchez that the Jets aren't afraid to not play him, no matter how much he's making.
And if Sanchez simply can't turn it around—if he's just not a good quarterback? Well, there's no offset language in his contract, so the Jets owe him $8.3 million next year—no matter where he plays.