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Tim Tebow's future even murkier as Jets name Greg McElroy Week 16 starter

Tim Tebow has attempted just eight passes all season long. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Tim Tebow has attempted just eight passes all season long. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

With nothing left to play for but pride, the New York Jets announced Tuesday that Greg McElroy will start against San Diego in Week 16, with Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow relegated to the bench.

And it's looking more and more likely that McElroy is the only one of those three still with the Jets come 2013.

SI's Peter King wrote earlier Tuesday about the decision the Jets now face on Sanchez -- basically, is it worth saving a few million dollars to keep him around, even if his days as a starting QB are gone? But Rex Ryan's decision to turn to McElroy for Sunday's upcoming game further indicates that the Jets have no real plans to turn Tebow into a starter anytime soon.

The opportunities have been there, time and time again throughout this season, as Sanchez has struggled. Rather that give Tebow a legitimate shot, though, Ryan has stuck with Sanchez and used Tebow in random spots -- as a blocker on punts, in short-yardage run plays, occasionally for a series as we saw Monday.

Never has Ryan seen enough value in Tebow's performances (or been willing enough to commit to benching Sanchez) to make a meaningful switch at quarterback.

If there ever was a stress-free time to see what Tebow can do, this would be it. The Chargers, like the Jets, have been eliminated from playoff contention. The same goes for Buffalo, New York's Week 17 foe. Aside from trying to finish the season .500 or avoid last place in the AFC East, New York's main focus now should be on which figuring out which players should have roles in 2013.

By choosing McElroy over Tebow as a quarterback Plan B, the Jets are taking yet another stance on Tebow's future.

Of course, there are financial issues at play with Tebow too. He's due nearly $3 million next season and another $895,000 in 2014. Jets owner Woody Johnson said back in October that Tebow would stick with the team through the duration of his contract.

Has that approach changed now? Or would Tebow be a satisfactory backup, if someone other than Sanchez was the team's starting QB?

The Jets have to answer those questions and make a call on Sanchez in the coming months. As McElroy readies for his first NFL start, though, it definitely looks as if New York is ready to wipe the slate clean at QB.

TROTTER: JETS MUST CUT TIES WITH SANCHEZ

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