UPDATE: Sunday, Apr. 28, at 5:27 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford
League source: #Jets expected to retain QB Mark Sanchez into preseason, let him compete for starting job. Sanchez to show up for work tomw.— Bob Glauber (@BobGlauber) April 28, 2013
---End of update---
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, some sources believe the former first-round pick could be released as opposed to allowing him to ride out the final year of his contract.
The Jets added David Garrard in free agency as a potential stop-gap measure behind center should Sanchez no longer be in a Jets uniform in 2013. But Smith’s presence now gives Rex Ryan yet another option. He could be in line for the starting job to begin the season, and it cost the Jets less than many thought it would.
"My goal is to be a franchise quarterback," Smith said. "As of right now, there's a lot of work to be done."
The offseason addition of Garrard created a crowded quarterback situation in New York. The cap hit from releasing Sanchez would put the Jets at a financial disadvantage, however.
As Schefter writes, "If the Jets cut him as a June 1 designation, which they can do at any time, the Jets would take a $12.35 million cap hit this year and $4.8 million next year. There is no offset clause in the contract, meaning they're on the hook for $8.25 million whether he plays for them or not."
And questions still remain as to what to do with the polarizing Tim Tebow.
Schefter reports Tebow may be gaining favor with the team—a development that could suggest Sanchez will be the odd man out in New York. There simply isn't enough room on the roster for so many signal-callers.
Smith was widely considered the top quarterback in this year’s draft class, and expecting the Jets to keep him on the sidelines (even as a second-round pick) is highly unlikely.
The rookie agrees. He's going in with the mindset to be the next "franchise quarterback."
Given the veteran presence of Garrard and an offense in desperate need of both major playmakers and consistent direction, the West Virginia product certainly seems like a more enticing option for the Jets in 2013.