NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Drew Stanton’s time as Jets backup quarterback was brief — one week, to be exact.
His reasons for signing and then asking out this offseason could provide insight into a franchise mired in a simmering — some would say boiling — quarterback controversy.
Stanton, now a backup to Indianapolis Colts rookie Andrew Luck, said the Jets told him he’d “have a chance to play” if Mark Sanchez struggled.
“So there was no better opportunity than that,” Stanton told Newsday, “and I was excited about it.”
The Jets were seeking a legitimate backup to push Sanchez after last season’s regression. They signed Stanton on March 16.
On March 21, Stanton was “blindsided” when the franchise acquired Tim Tebow from Denver. The 28-year-old told general manager Mike Tannenbaum he wanted out, and two days later he was gone — shipped to Indianapolis.
“I didn’t want to be in the same (quarterback) room with Tim, because it’s difficult from the media or fan standpoint,” Stanton said. “He’s such a good guy, and the perception of him makes it so difficult.”
The Colts and Jets are set to square off Sunday afternoon, a game many think will be Sanchez’s last as starter if his inconsistent play continues. Then it could be Tebow time, a chance Stanton said was once offered to him.
Jets head coach Rex Ryan, a steadfast Sanchez supporter, raised some eyebrows Wednesday when he said No. 6 would be the team’s starting quarterback “this week.”
“I feel bad for Mark,” said Stanton. “Everybody’s rooting for the backup. I’d like to see him turn it around, hopefully not this week, but in the weeks to come.”
Stanton told Newsday he was given assurances that Tebow would serve as the team’s wildcat specialist. But he was “more comfortable” exiting what many have since described as a circus.
“They wanted to keep me, but I said, ‘Hey, I really don’t want to be a part of that, because that’s not what we agreed to,’” he said. “Mike said, ‘We’re going to do right by you.’ Mike acquiesced a little bit and he said, ‘Had we known Tebow would have been available, obviously we wouldn’t have said that to you.’”
Does this prove the Jets have had Sanchez on a short leash since the offseason? Be heard in the comments below…