When recounting the travails of Jets quarterback Kellen Clemens, it's hard not to feel some sympathy for him. He's had to deal with Chad Pennington's resurgence and Brett Favre's acquisition in the last three years, leaving him with just eight professional starts. Those starts all came behind a Swiss cheese offensive line, which left Clemens looking terrible and made it hard to get a good read on his abilities.
Now, obviously, Clemens has no future with the Jets thanks to Mark Sanchez. Still, he believes he's going to have a shot at the starting quarterback job this season.
"In speaking with coach [Rex] Ryan, it’s an open competition," Clemens said. "I’m going to get a fair shot at the starting job."
Not to call Ryan a liar, but Clemens has about as much chance of winning the Jets' starting job as he has of being the next Miss America. When the Jets made the trade for Sanchez, it was a sign they loved Sanchez but it was a bigger sign that they don't think Clemens is a starting NFL quarterback. Maybe he never got a fair chance, but, you know, life isn't fair.
If Clemens does start the season under center, it will be because Sanchez lost the job not because Clemens won it. That can happen because Sanchez is worse than advertised during training camp, which would be a horrible turn of events for the Jets because they ignored other needs to trade for him, or it can happen because Sanchez's contract negotiations drag on past the point where he's prepared for the season.
That's equally bad for the Jets, and would put Clemens in a tough spot. Clemens and Sanchez are both represented by Dave Dunn, which could make a prolonged holdout seem like an effort to assure both of his clients get their chance. Clemens would get to show off for his next employer, while Sanchez gets an inflated contract before he throws one professional pass.
That seems far-fetched, though, and Clemens seems destined to go down as a footnote in Jets history.