Amidst all of the madness is Kellen Clemens, who was the perfect soldier when Favre stormed into town and stole away the job many felt Clemens had rightfully earned. Clemens kept his mouth shut on the sidelines and waited patiently for his turn to come ... now the three-year veteran must wonder if it ever will.
One thing is for certain: The Jets camp will foster one of the most talked about camp battles in the league this summer. As New York offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer put it to reporters, "It'll be a long summer, a heavyweight title fight. There will be good rounds and bad rounds. Hopefully, it'll be easy for us and easy for the fans to figure out the winner."
That's doubtful, Brian, but best wishes to you and the staff on having this be an easy decision.
Whichever player wins the job will offer fantasy owners value as a viable No. 2 quarterback in most leagues. The Jets have a veteran offensive line, solid targets in Jerricho Cotchery and tight end Dustin Keller, and a formidable rushing attack led by veteran Thomas Jones.
Why Clemens will win the job: In the NFL experience counts a great deal, and Clemens is the only quarterback in Jets camp with any experience to speak of. Clemens has seen action in 14 NFL games, having completed 52 percent of his passes for 1,551 yards, five touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His best day as a starter came in Week 9 of the 2007 season when he passed for 226 yards and a touchdown, and gained 48 yards rushing in an overtime loss to Washington. And while he hasn't produced numbers able to grab the attention of fantasy owners, Clemens has yet to work with a cast of skill players as strong as what New York has in store for this season. The team's brass may buck the recent trend of playing first round quarterbacks immediately, instead choosing to use Clemens as a short-term solution. In such a scenario Clemens could offer fantasy owners one good season.
Why Sanchez will win it: One word: Money. It's become more difficult for coaches to practice patience with a top five draft choice because of the financial commitment a team needs to make to sign such a player. This is especially true with blue chip quarterback picks (in this case, $28 million of Sanchez's five-year deal was guaranteed). Sanchez has been tabbed to be New York's savior. For one, he's the most handsome quarterback First Avenue has had to work with since Joe Namath (no disrespect to Richard Todd, of course), and the success other USC quarterbacks have had in the NFL in recent years is reason for fans to expect big things immediately. All of this is added pressure -- for Sanchez and the organization. As for football ability, well, Sanchez has been labeled a cerebral quarterback, which is a polite way of saying he has limited arm strength but is a quick learner with good field vision. He was also very efficient during his junior campaign at USC in 2008: 65.8 completion percentage and a 34-to-10 touchdown-to-interception ratio. The biggest reason why he'll win the job, however -- he won games at USC, and the Jets are hoping that rubs off on his teammates.
Don't forget about: Erik Ainge Ainge stands 6-foot-5 and 221 -- numbers made to please league personnel guys. He completed 64.3 percent of his passes for 50 touchdowns and more than 6,500 yards during his final two seasons at the University of Tennessee combined. Ainge was given little opportunity in his first year, but with a wide open race in New York he can hardly be ignored.
Who fantasy owners should pull for:Sanchez Clemens has more experience and Ainge has slightly better measurable, but when you boil everything down it's apparent Sanchez comes from the best pedigree. He's a USC guy -- the same school that produced AFC starting quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Matt Cassel. Sanchez has the potential to be great; Clemens and Ainge have the potential to be good.
Fantasy owners have taken a wait-and-see approach to the New York quarterback situation so far this summer. Clemens' average RapidDraft position (ARDP) overall is 226 (28th among quarterbacks). Sanchez's ARDP is 248, or 35th among quarterbacks.
When camp settles, however, fantasy owners can expect the Jets' starter to produce numbers good enough to rank him somewhere between the 20th to 25th best player at his position.