Jets GM: 'Focused' Mark Sanchez ready to compete for QB job

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Mark Sanchez is apparently ready to battle for the starting job in New York next season. (USATSI)

The New York Jets raised some eyebrows Friday night when they selected Geno Smith in the second round of the NFL Draft. The choice muddied an already murky quarterback situation in New York, but general manager John Idzik suggested Tuesday that move will serve as a catalyst for preseason competition between Smith and returning starter Mark Sanchez.

"It's an open competition," Idzik said on ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning. "Mark is in the competition. We fully expect it will help him get better. ... He's focused, he's energized, and he's been very positive."

It's easy to be positive when you're due $8.5 million in guaranteed money -- as Sanchez is for 2013. Conventional wisdom suggests it is his job to lose.

The Jets currently have five quarterbacks on the roster following Monday's release of Tim Tebow, but the battle will likely come down to Smith and Sanchez, with David Garrard, Matt Simms and Greg McElroy fighting for roster spots.

And speaking of Tebow, Idzik maintained that the Jets never considered him as anything but a quarterback, and that his release was based on the fact that New York simply had too many quarterbacks.

"We had six quarterbacks," Idzik said. "Something had to give."

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