Although most of us have expected it, the New York Jets made it official this morning - QB Geno Smith will start in the season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The last time the Gang Green started a rookie quarterback in Week 1 was 2009, when it was QB Mark Sanchez, whom Smith is replacing. Despite failing his final test in the preseason game against the Giants, Smith will start because Sanchez is unable to go due to the shoulder injury he suffered in the same game.
If Smith plays well, then Mark Sanchez's days as a Jets quarterback are pretty much over. He will be the highest-paid backup in the NFL this season, earning a guaranteed $8.25M, which is part of his 2012 contract extension that prevented the Jets from releasing him in the offseason.
Recently signed QB Brady Quinn will be Smith's backup in week 1, while QB Matt Simms is expected to be #3 emergency quarterback. Quinn will be the only active Jets quarterback with any NFL game experience. He started 8 games for the Chiefs last season, after spending the previous two years as a backup in Denver. He started 12 games for Cleveland in 2008 and 2009.