Coach Rex Ryan led the Jets to eight wins in 2013 and it saved his job. He did it with rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who looked a lot like ... well, a rookie quarterback for much of the season. There were some highs mixed with plenty of lows, though Smith showed progress and consistency down the stretch.
But during the Jets' end-of-season press conference Tuesday, general manager John Idzik wouldn't commit to Smith as the team's starter in 2014.
“We're all excited about having Geno as part of the Jets but we will always look to improve every position in any manner we can and that doesn't change going into 2014,” Idzik said via the New York Daily News. “We'll look at quarterbacks, yes we'll look at quarterbacks.”
When asked specifically if Smith would be the starter heading into training camp, Idzik said: “We don't look too far into the future with that. Again, Geno started 16 games for us. You all witnessed how he did, how he finished strong. We're very, very excited and happy that Geno is with us.”
Still, both Idzik and Ryan remained optimistic about Smith's future with the Jets.
“He's a very resilient young man,” the general manager said. “For him to start all 16 games, go through the highs and lows of an NFL season and just to see him develop as a player, see him handle a game, see him be more efficient in the pocket, his accuracy, threatening with his legs, all of the things that he did, they were very positive.”
Meanwhile, the Jets' franchise quarterback before Smith's arrival, Mark Sanchez, will likely be released this offseason. He missed 2013 with a shoulder injury and he carries a $13.1 million cap hit in 2014, according to Spotrac.com.
“We'll get to that in time," Idzik said when asked about Sanchez's future with the team. "He is a Jet. We consider all our guys Jets until we make a decision or something happens that changes that. So with Mark -- I met with him yesterday as well -- our focus is to get him healthy, just as it has been really the entire season and then we'll take it from there.”