Is There Any Way Kellen Clemens Starts for the Jets This Season?

David WyattAnalyst IJuly 6, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 23:  Kellen Clemens #11 of the New York Jets smiles on the sidelines during a preseason NFL game against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands on August 23, 2008 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

So you either sit on one side of the fence, or the other side.

The first side of the fence: Kellen Clemens has never really been given a chance. Sure he's played some games in 2007; however, that was behind a horrific O-line. He has been given the chance to win the quarterback job in camp, but how fair has the competition been?

The second side: Clemens has had his shot. He has had chances to compete and showed that he doesn't have what it takes. Clemens can't take the franchise to where it wants to be, the ultimate goal of a Super Bowl championship.

I'm a little in the middle on the two; however, simple economics dictate that Kellen Clemens has little to no chance of starting on opening day.

Not many people want Clemens to start on opening day though.

We gave up...well very little in reality to acquiring Mark Sanchez, and then we slapped a big fat contract right in front of him worth over $30 million guaranteed.

How fair will the competition be this year in camp? Personally, I believe that either Sanchez has to get injured or has to be seriously out-performed by Clemens for there to even be a chance of Clemens taking the snap from Nick Mangold.

So lets briefly play the "What if" game.

What if Mark Sanchez gets injured in preseason and is out for the regular season. Obviously lets hope not, but it's not impossible.

Clemens comes in, does a great job, not just a great job, but a fantastic job. Say a Big Ben 2007 type of performance, 3,000-plus yards, 30 TD, 10 INT and a passer rating of around 65.1. What do we then do?

Remember that this is Clemens' last contracted year with the Jets.

We have spent a long time looking for that franchise quarterback, and Clemens behind an above average line looks like he can be that guy. Do we resign him? We can't. We are now committed to Sanchez.

The logical thing to do would be to slap the franchise tag on him and then trade him, but going back to the "what if" game again, what if we have not signed Leon Washington at the end of the season?

Who do we choose? Do we value Leon more than what we could get by potentially trading a franchise quarterback? Of course this is wildly speculative, but it's probably worth spending just a minute or so thinking about.

Are we Mark Sanchez or bust? Irrelevant of how Clemens' performs if he was to be given a chance.

Opinion will be based on which side of the fence you sit.

Some will believe that he has already been given the chance, and there is no point thinking about this because there is no way that he can perform to the extent where an expensive franchise tag would be warranted.

Let's not forget that Clemens at one point in his college career was spoken of like a first round talent. He had the intangibles, the drive, but has he really been given a fair chance to succeed?

I want to clarify that I'm as excited as the next Jets fan in regards to Mark Sanchez; however, I also feel that Clemens has probably not been given a fair shot. Being the Jets, we will likely let Clemens go, and then watch him perform like an All-Star for another franchise, while we struggle along.

Completely negative view there, and not how I feel events will unfold, but like I have mentioned throughout this's worth thinking about.

So what to do with Clemens?

Let me hear your thoughts.