Mark Sanchez, you’re officially on the clock.
Four years after drafting Sanchez to be the face of their franchise, the Jets snagged a new quarterback on Day 2 of the NFL draft: Geno Smith.
Former Hofstra alum and former Jet wide receiver Wayne Chrebet made the announcement.
The former West Virginia quarterback expected to be a first-round pick at Radio City Music Hall Thursday night, but fell all the way to the second round…Right into the lap of general manager John Idzik.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday afternoon that the Jets were making calls in an attempt to move up from 39th overall in hopes of snagging a quarterback – possibly Smith, who they debated taking at No. 13. Instead, Idzik & Co. opted for defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.
But the Jets were able to get their long-term QB 26 picks later. And the former Mountaineer has no doubt he can be a franchise quarterback.
"I'm going to do my best to better my teammates and hopefully win a Super Bowl," he said on a conference call shortly after being selected.
Smith now joins five other quarterbacks currently on the Jets roster: Sanchez, David Garrard, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms. While Tebow is expected to be released or traded before training camp begins, there’s mounting speculation that Sanchez will be history too.
But the three-year extension given to Sanchez -- which pays him a guaranteed $8.25 million in 2013, despite his 50 turnovers over the past two seasons -- helped to handcuff the Jets financially this offseason. And there will be significant salary-cap implications if Idzik decides to release Sanchez before this season ends. Sanchez’s current $12.8-million cap number reportedly inflates to $17.1 million if he’s cut before June 1. If Sanchez is released on that day, his cap charge could be spread out over 2013 and 2014.
Smith said he's watched Sanchez's career, starting at USC. "I think highly of him," he said of the Jets former starting quarterback. "And Tim (Tebow)."
With that said, however, Smith is anxious to show the Jets that he has the mettle to be their long-term solution. Smith said he's going to accept the role he's given, "but my job is to compete day in and day out."