The Jets struck out with Peyton Manning and to keep 3rd year QB Mark Sanchez happy, they gave him a “3-year, $40.5 million extension.”
As one of the few Mark Sanchez defenders on planet earth, even I was outraged. It seemed like an irrational move. What was the rush? When Sanchez struggled down the stretch last season, I thought he’d have one more year with a new offensive coordinator to get his act together.
Disgusted, I prepared a scathing diatribe about the suddenly-clueless Jets’ front office that had lost its way. (Remember when I was singing their praises in 2010?)
Then Mike Florio wrote this for Pro Football Talk:
For an extra $2.75 million, Sanchez gave the Jets three straight option years, allowing the team to keep him if he finally realizes his full potential — and to cut him without further investment after the 2013 season, the 2014 season, or the 2015 season.
The move creates $6.4 million in 2012 cap space.
He could have been dumped after 2012, with the $6 million due next year forever gone.
To recap: Crisis averted. The extension isn’t really a $40 million extension. They’ve got cap room to pursue another running back, a linebacker, a safety, or perhaps most important, a capable right tackle.