McElroy said Wednesday that he was sorry to see the Tebow era come to a close in New York even though it means one less player challenging him for the starting job, according to The New York Daily News.
The third-string quarterback got the surprising call over Tebow to start one game last season when Mark Sanchez was yanked for Game 15.
"It’s disappointing to see anybody get cut. That’s your teammate, that’s your buddy," said McElroy. "That’s a guy you’ve spent countless hours with over the last 365 days or however long we’ve been together."
Thirteen months to be exact.
McElroy's promotion over Tebow in that one game was sort of a premonition signaling the end of Tebow's future with the team.
Now that McElroy has been unofficially bumped back to third on the depth chart— behind the incumbent $8.25 million Sanchez and second-round draftee Geno Smith — he will be in a five-way battle for the top spot. David Garrard and Matts Simms are also in the mix.
"I don’t view it as anything like that," McElroy said at Midstreams Elementary School in Brick, N.J., after speaking to students about the "Eat Right, Move More" campaign. "Just go out there, we’re all competing, and just enjoy the competition and try to make each other better."
Jets GM, John Idzik, on SiriusXM Wednesday, said those outside factors relating to Sanchez and Smith won’t play a role in determining who is the starter and whoever gets the call will do so on merit in an "open competition."
"We don’t feel like there’s any pressure to get (Smith) in there right away, especially with the cast of quarterbacks we have in the competition," Idzik said.
On Sanchez, Idzik said, "We take finances out of it."
McElroy is already familiar with Sanchez and said he had met Smith only briefly and said hello, but had not had any contact with him beyond that.
"Competition brings out the best in everybody," McElroy said.