The end of Mark Sanchez’s tenure with the Jets appears to be coming to a close.
Or is it?
While many expect the Jets to release the veteran quarterback any day now, Rex Ryan left the door open (albeit slightly) that Sanchez could remain on the roster in 2014.
“That could happen,” the Jets coach said on ESPN radio Friday afternoon, when asked if he could envision a scenario where Sanchez “is under center for you guys this year.”
“Obviously, Mark is still on this football team as of right now. So, you know, that’s still a possibility.”
Sanchez has been rehabbing his right (throwing) shoulder since suffering a season-ending injury in Week 3 of the 2013 preseason. He was in the midst of a training-camp competition with rookie Geno Smith at the time, and as a result, Smith started all 16 games during the regular season.
The Jets haven’t tipped their hand, but Sanchez -- a former fifth-overall pick of the Jets in 2009 -- is expected to be cut before Tuesday, the day he earns his $2-million bonus.
Further complicating matters for Sanchez is Michael Vick’s presence in Florham Park. The former Eagles QB is meeting with the Jets today, and possibly, into tomorrow.
Of course, there’s always a chance the Jets decide not to sign Vick (although, that seems highly unlikely at this point). But if they don’t, they'll will be hard-pressed to find a free-agent veteran who is better than Sanchez.
But based on all of Ryan’s hemming and hawing, it doesn’t appear the Jets are in favor of holding Round 2 of Sanchez vs. Smith in Cortland.
“Again, at the end of the day, whatever that time is, we make those decisions, then we will,” Ryan said, referring to the team's timetable for deciding Sanchez's future. “But again, we are all about competition. So whoever’s here is going to compete and they wouldn’t be here in a position to challenge for a starting spot if we didn’t believe that.”
Ryan also wouldn't give any details on Vick's visit to the facility. Asked if he met with the free agent today, Rex replied: "We don’t talk about people visiting or not visiting. We’ll leave that to speculation."