Greg McElroy: Stay or Go?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 21: Greg McElroy #14 of the New York Jets passes against the Cincinnati Bengals during their pre season game on August 21, 2011 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

In a different world, Mark Sanchez would have proven beyond any doubt that he is the franchise quarterback for the Jets. Greg McElroy would be ready to slide in and claim the backup job next year. The Jets would try and develop McElroy into an insurance policy in case anything happened to Sanchez and eventually trade him for a nice return before he hit free agency.

That is not where the Jets find themselves, however. Sanchez has not asserted himself. At the very least, the Jets are going to need to bring in somebody to challenge him for the starting job. They need somebody who can push Sanchez and who can be trusted to play well if Mark is not up to the task. A seventh round second year guy who spent his rookie season on IR is not exactly a threat.

For what it is worth, McElroy played pretty well in preseason for the Jets last year. That is not worth much, though. He was playing against backups and unsophisticated defenses. He did what you would expect a third stringer to do, struggle against second stringers, play well against third stringers, and play great against fourth stringers. Hopefully he hit the weights hard during his rookie year. He needs to develop a lot more upper body strength to add some zip to his throws. He looked a lot smaller than anybody else on the field during the preseason.

For his part, Greg had pretty much every cliche you would want from a quarterback when the Jets took him. He was accurate in college. He played really well in some pressure spots at a big time program. He was a leader and a winner. Will he ever be a player in the NFL? Probably not, but those are the attributes the few late round quarterbacks who do develop into good players tend to have.

At the very least, he has earned the chance to compete for the third quarterback spot against whatever competition the Jets have. If he really, really lights it up, he deserves a chance to play for the starting job. The quarterback job should be an open competition. Finances are not an issue. The Jets would save less than $400,000 cutting him.

I vote stay. How do you vote?

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