Analyzing the New York Jets' Quarterback Circus

John SheaContributor IIIFebruary 13, 2017

Aug. 4, 2012;  Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback David Garrard (9) throws during a scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The quarterback circus is in full flight for the New York Jets, and there isn't a permanent solution in sight.

A recent report indicates that the Jets have toyed with the idea of signing veteran free agent David Garrard. The move would further signify that embattled starting QB Mark Sanchez will still be the main signal-caller in Florham Park.

Injury issues have plagued Garrard throughout his career, but he does in fact recognize the Jets as his best opportunity to start, calling it an "ideal situation."

The irony in that statement speaks for itself, but Garrard isn't a prominent threat to rekindle moderate success and overtake Sanchez for the starting job.

The Jets are supposedly going to enter training camp with five quarterbacks on their depth chart. It's well known that Sanchez will factor into the equation, given an extreme lack of interest from other teams and his ridiculous contract, but it's unknown who else will fill out the team's quarterback depth chart.

Media sensation Tim Tebow doesn't stand a chance of being a part of the mess. The Jets failed miserably in integrating the overhyped backup QB into their offensive game plan in 2012 and consequently suffered an appropriate backlash.

Tebow is destined to be released some time this month, creating a possible opportunity for another wannabe starter like Garrard. Third-string QB Greg McElroy will be invited to camp, largely because of his highly touted football IQ but is still a long shot to move up the depth chart.

The combination of Sanchez, Garrard and McElroy is enough to make Jets season ticket holders beg for PSL refunds, but this trio won't be the only three quarterbacks in camp.

New general manager John Idzik is expected to select a quarterback at some point in the 2013 NFL draft, but most pro scouts consider this season's QB draft class to be average at best.

So, whom should the Jets select as the potential future face of the franchise?

The answer to that question is entirely subject to the team's new-look West Coast offense, headed by new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.

Conventional football wisdom would point towards the Jets drafting a prototypical pocket passer with a big arm and solid downfield vision. Quarterback prospects Mike Glennon, Ryan Nassib and Tyler Wilson all displayed flashes of brilliance in their final collegiate seasons, but they also struggled with inconsistent play.

Glennon threw for 383 yards and a touchdown in the Music City Bowl but also tossed three crucial interceptions that largely contributed to a loss against Vanderbilt in his final collegiate game.

Nassib was thought to have first-round potential before flopping in the Senior Bowl, where he threw a pick along with going just 4-for-10 for 44 yards against elite FBS competition.

Wilson regressed his senior season with the absence of former head coach Bobby Petrino. His touchdown-to-turnover ratio took a dramatic nosedive while his completion percentage also decreased.

The best possible rookie option for the Jets could be Florida State QB E.J. Manuel.

The duel-threat signal-caller demonstrates an appropriate balance of pocket poise and mobility. As a senior, he was rated the thirteenth most efficient quarterback in the nation, completing 68 percent of his pass attempts. He showcased his ability in the Senior Bowl.

Manuel was also highly impressive at the scouting combine, where he went up against projected first-round pick QB Geno Smith. Both players have similar athletic ability and offensive skill sets, although Smith is thought to have more upside than Manuel.

If New York drafts Manuel, it wouldn't be entirely unrealistic to have Sanchez, Manuel, Garrard and McElroy all contending for the starting quarterback job in training camp.

Lucky number five is likely to be an ailing veteran, like Garrard. The Jets could give a look to guys like Brady Quinn or Jason Campbell, but neither player would be a serious threat to overtake "Sanchize."

Manuel, however, would be.

This offseason is going to be a struggle for the Jets on multiple fronts, but quarterback is the most desperate situation the team faces. The five-quarterback circus comes to town this summer, and all bets are off on who wins the poll.