Because Mark Sanchez's relationship with the Jets simply cannot exist without a little chaos, Sanchez apparently has opted for surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. That decision comes less than a month after Sanchez opted to rehab the injury, thus leading to the Jets using their one and only IR-designated for return spot on him.
The NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Sanchez's change of heart Monday. According to Rapoport, Sanchez's surgery will come with a recovery timeline of four to six months, meaning the QB will not be ready to play again until after the 2013 season.
And so Sanchez's time in New York likely will come to an end with a whimper. Rookie Geno Smith has taken charge of the No. 1 QB job, despite some turnover-prone ways thus far.
Even if Smith were to falter horribly, though, there's almost no way the Jets would keep Sanchez around beyond 2013. Though he has three years left on his $58 million contract, Sanchez's dead-money hit on the Jets' cap drops from $17.5 million this season to $4.8 million next season, per OvertheCap.com. Cutting Sanchez after 2013 would save the Jets more than $30 million in salary-cap dough over the next three seasons.
Even with that inevitable split approaching, this latest twist is an unexpected one. Jets coach Rex Ryan said earlier this month that the team thought Sanchez would return sometime during the year.
"If we didn't think it was realistic that Mark would get back on the field, we'd put him on injured reserve, and that's not the case," Ryan said. "He's doing a great job in rehab. Our doctors and trainers are pleased." Whether the doctors' opinions changed or Sanchez simply opted to go a different route in anticipation of being a free agent, we've almost certainly seen the last of Sanchez in green and white.