There's confidence and then there's commitment. New York Jets coach Rex Ryan has the former when it comes to quarterback Mark Sanchez, but apparently not the latter.
In an interview with the NFL Network, Ryan said Sanchez would take the "first step" with the Jets' offense in the first organized team activity (OTA), but would not commit any further on Sanchez' long-range future with the team.
"I have confidence in Mark Sanchez," Ryan said. "I have confidence in all the guys. That's just the way it is and that's the truth. I've said it before: We've won a lot of games with Mark Sanchez.
"In fact, I think our football team, since I've been here as head coach, has actually won more playoff games than the New England Patriots. I'm just throwing that out there. It seems like it gets lost."
Both Ryan and Jets general manager John Idzik refused to make statements about Sanchez's status past the current OTAs. His status became more questionable after the Jets drafted West Virginia QB Geno Smith in the second round of the just-completed 2013 NFL draft.
Including embattled QB Tim Tebow, who the Jets reportedly are continuing to shop around the league, the team now has six quarterbacks on the roster. If not, the Jets could potentially release Tebow as early as June 1.
There is also the possibility that Sanchez could join Tebow on the released list, according to a report on ESPNNewYork.com. However, Sanchez has $8.25 million guaranteed remaining on his 2013 contract, a formidable hurdle for the Jets, who have not reached the Super Bowl since 1968.
Besides Sanchez, Tebow and now Smith, the Jets' other QBs are David Garrard, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms.
"The quarterbacks will be back in Monday and we'll brief them on what occurred over the weekend," Idzik said.