For the New York Jets, time is of the essence.
Not for the team to begin winning, because their chances at salvaging a successful 2012 season already appear slim heading into Week 6.
Instead, the clock is ticking on Mike Tannenbaum to make a decision on what the future holds for starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, whose long-term status with the organization has been called into question regularly as of late.
Sure, if Sanchez leads the Jets to a win against the Colts on Sunday, it would help alleviate some of the pressure and scrutiny in the short-term, but whether owner Woody Johnson, Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan view the fourth-year quarterback as their No. 1 option beyond 2012 will continue to be a mystery to the general public.
Speculation that Sanchez's job may be in jeopardy only increased earlier this week, when Johnson (according to The Washington Post), said that Tim Tebow, the man who appears most likely to supersede Sanchez as the team's QB, would be a Jet "for three years, and he’ll be a real asset in terms of helping us win games."
Though Johnson also supported Sanchez, it's not exactly commonplace among NFL owners to publicly guarantee the future of a quarterback, unless the man in question is a key cog in the team's plans for the future.
Rex Ryan added fuel to the fire when he told ESPN.com that while Sanchez would be his quarterback "this week," he didn't make any guarantees about the future.
At this point, Sanchez's confidence has to be declining.
Yes, he played reasonably well on Monday night against Houston, but he also threw more picks than he did touchdown passes, and he has been unable to string together consecutive strong performances in 2012.
That's not to say that Sanchez isn't New York's best option, or that the losses have been his fault, but one way or another, the Jets need to make a decision on whom they intend on keeping as their starting quarterback for the future.
From a financial standpoint, sinking $20 million in guaranteed money in the three-year extension Sanchez signed in March cannot be seen as anything but a ludicrous investment if they envision him as their long-term answer at quarterback, but it'd be even more ridiculous for them to continue to start him if he's not in their plans beyond 2012.
It's not as if there's any guarantee that Tebow would be doing a better job than Sanchez, or that he's a better bet to be a successful starter than Sanchez.
After all, Sanchez is the guy that led them to consecutive berths in the AFC Championship Game during his first two seasons with the team.
Regardless of whether they're going to keep him, promote Tebow or find a new quarterback entirely, Tannenbaum needs to make a decision soon, because the circus surrounding the Jets' quarterback situation isn't going to help any of the parties involved.