NFL: Jets bench Mark Sanchez, will start Greg McElroy against Chargers
New York • Mark Sanchez blew the second chance Rex Ryan gave him. Now, it's Greg McElroy's chance to be the New York Jets' starting quarterback.
And, Tim Tebow? Well, he was leapfrogged by the third-stringer, fueling speculation that the team has little confidence in him as a quarterback.
Ryan decided to bench Sanchez on Tuesday after the fourth-year quarterback had another miserable performance. Sanchez threw four interceptions Monday night and wasn't able to handle a low snap with the game on the line as the Jets (6-8) were eliminated from playoff contention with a 14-10 loss at Tennessee.
Things got worse after the game for Sanchez, who received a series of death threats on Twitter. League spokesman Greg Aiello said the NFL is aware of the threats and is working with the Jets to assist on the matter.
Ryan said after the loss that he wasn't ready to decide who would start against the Chargers, but chose McElroy over Sanchez and Tebow after talking with his staff and others in the organization Tuesday.
McElroy, a seventh-round pick last year out of Alabama, helped lead the Jets to a 7-6 win over Arizona on Dec. 2 when Ryan pulled Sanchez from that game late in the third quarter. McElroy had modest numbers 5 of 7 for 29 yards but threw for the only touchdown of the game, and nearly led another scoring drive as the Jets ran out the clock.
Ryan decided to stick with Sanchez after that game, saying that the one-time face of the franchise gave the Jets their best chance at winning as they remained in the playoff hunt.
But Sanchez struggled in a 17-10 win over Jacksonville and again even more in the loss to Tennessee. McElroy, who gave the Jets a huge spark in his first NFL action, was inactive for both games. That hurt New York on Monday night when Ryan was unable to turn to McElroy since he was not in uniform for the game. Instead, Ryan went to Tebow for one series which had been part of the game plan but it was unproductive and Sanchez came back in for the next offensive possession.
Sanchez leads the league with 24 turnovers, including 17 interceptions, and has turned the ball over 50 times since the start of last season. His future with the team is uncertain because he signed a contract extension with New York in March that included $8.25 million in guaranteed money for next season.
Around the league
Browns • New owner Jimmy Haslam and his CEO, Joe Banner, have several personnel decisions to make once the season ends.
You can scratch president off their list, however. With potentially more changes ahead for the new-look Browns over the next two weeks, Haslam and Banner announced on Tuesday they had hired Alec Scheiner to be the team's new president. Scheiner, 39, will join Cleveland after eight years with the Cowboys. He was senior vice president and general counsel with Dallas the last five years.
Bills • Buffalo took the first step in securing its offensive line's long-term future by signing starting right guard Kraig Urbik to a four-year contract extension. The deal locks up Urbik through 2016 and is worth $13.3 million, including a $3.5 million signing bonus for this season, a person familiar with the contract told The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team did not reveal the length or monetary terms of the contract.
Cowboys • A judge ordered nose tackle Josh Brent to wear an electronic monitor pending his trial on an intoxication manslaughter charge in the one-car crash that killed a teammate. State District Judge Fred Tinsley also lowered Brent's bond from $500,000 to $100,000 on Tuesday. He ordered Brent not to drink alcohol or drive without a valid driver's license. Prosecutors say Brent was driving with a suspended license on the night of the Dec. 8 crash that killed friend and Cowboys practice squad member Jerry Brown. Brent will be required to wear a monitor to detect if he has had anything to drink.
NFL Week 15 schedule
•Atlanta at Detroit, 6:30 p.m.
•Tennessee at Green Bay, 11 a.m.
• Indianapolis at Kansas City, 11 a.m.
• New Orleans at Dallas, 11 a.m.
• Minnesota at Houston, 11 a.m.
• Oakland at Carolina, 11 a.m.
• Buffalo at Miami, 11 a.m.
• Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 11 a.m.
• New England at Jacksonville, 11 a.m.
• Washington at Philadelphia, 11 a.m.
• St. Louis at Tampa Bay, 11 a.m.
• San Diego at N.Y. Jets, 11 a.m.
• Cleveland at Denver, 2:05 p.m.
• Chicago at Arizona, 2:25 p.m.
• N.Y. Giants at Baltimore, 2:25 p.m.
• San Francisco at Seattle, 6:20 p.m.
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