Forget Manning: Sanchez Signs 3-Year Mega-Money Extension With Jets

Front Office, Embattled Quarterback Unite To The Tune Of $58.25 Million

Updated at 1:16 a.m., March 10, 2012

By Jeff Capellini,

NEW YORK (WFAN) — The Jets called an impromptu press conference for 10:15 p.m. Friday night, presumably to announce what many suspected — that they were no longer in the race to get Peyton Manning.

Well, it’s true, the Jets are no longer in pursuit of the four-time NFL MVP, but that’s because they signed quarterback Mark Sanchez to a three-year, $58.25 million extension, with another $10 million possible in escalator clauses. Reportedly, $20.5 million is guaranteed.

How much, if any, additional cap room the deal will give the team in 2012 was not immediately known. The Jets were approximately $8.3 million under heading into Friday. The free agency signing period starts on March 13.

Sanchez led the team to the AFC championship game as a wild card in his first two seasons, but struggled as the Jets lost their last three games in 2011 to finish 8-8 and out of the playoffs.

General Manager Mike Tannenbaum told print reporters during the conference call that the Jets “looked into the possibility” of signing Manning and were monitoring his situation, but all along were pushing for a contract extension with Sanchez, who is coming off a frustrating 2011 season that featured more than 3,600 passing yards and 32 total touchdowns, but also 18 interceptions and eight fumbles lost.

“Mark’s our starter. Taking the long view of things, we’re excited and encouraged at the trajectory of Mark’s career,” Tannenbaum said. “From my standpoint, it is Mark and Rex going into year four…and I feel really comfortable about those two positions.”

But Tannenbaum also said the Jets are under no illusions here. Sanchez will be heading into his fourth professional season and they expect to see immediate improvement.

“We don’t have blinders on. It has to get better and we think it will get better,” Tannenbaum said.

Sanchez, who will reportedly receive $27 million over the next two years, sounded like someone relieved to have the Manning watch come to an end.

“To find out that I can come back for three more years means the world to me. I’m absolutely pleased to be a Jet. My family is ecstatic and now it’s time to get to work,” Sanchez said.

“I understand this is a business. I’m excited the Jets believed in me.”

Sanchez also addressed his rocky relationship with wide receiver Santonio Holmes, something that must improve dramatically if the Jets’ passing attack is to have any hope in 2012.

“We’ve been in contact really all this offseason. He’s excited about the next year, I can tell you that,” Sanchez said. “Neither of us commenting on it made it bigger. Both of us are laughing it off right now.”

It was widely believed that a good number of the Jets did not want Sanchez to return as the starter in 2012. Several unnamed sources started appearing in reports. Sanchez took them to task on Friday night.

“If you’re an unnamed source, you don’t speak for yourself and you don’t speak for the team,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez threw for more than 9,000 yards over his first three NFL seasons, competing 55.3 percent of his passes, with 55 TDs and 51 INTs.

Do you think this was a smart move by the Jets? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below. …

  • mike dayem

    listen up jets fan if ny jets don’t call payton manning today i going on strike that no more watch football beause mark sanchez is quarterback for ny jets man can’t read defense payton manning can read defense and better quarterback than mark sanchez look at ny giants they two superbowl with eli manning what that tell u rex rayan u need sign payton manning and cut mark sanchez and bulid offense team around payton manning and fire dolphins coach who jets hire .

    • ive albertie

      The Jets already signed an old and injured quarterback. The Jets don’t need Brett Favre part two.

  • mike dayem

    today we find out who payton manning going sign i have strong feel it going be arizona he like pay book beause ny jets got sorry offense they sign head coach from miami dolphins who score 13 points from all last years on scored score i try say who want see ny jets score 13points every game have sorry season or see payton manning run offense for ny jets ask your self why ny jets sign mark sanchez for three years that make no sents .what that tell u ny jets is not going to superbowl .with mark sanchez i want payton manning??????????????????

    • Brown

      I AGREE that keeping Sanchez is a big mistake and at 58 million throw the towel in seasons over.

  • David

    Are the Jets CRAZY? WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? the Jets need a quarterback with a lot more experience and drive then what mark sanchez showed in 2011, I mean if the really want to win a superbowl then Sanchez is not the one. I have been a jets fan since I can remenber, I watch Broadway Joe bring a superbowl win to that great city of New York, IIf I owned the jets everyone involved in this STUID STUPID decision would be FIRED!!!!, and that waht ownershp should do fire everyone involved. MArk Sanchez is yound and could learn and benefit from a more experienced quarterback, one who has been to the big dance someone like Payton Manning. Manning would be a great teacher for Sanchez, and besides that Sanchez would finally be challenge at that position he thinks he owns. I can not beleive the Jets would not even tallk with Mannings agent. JETS will be the laughing stock of the Big Apply in 2012 thaks to Mark Sanchez. Ownershp has no one to blame but themself .

  • jon

    the only reasons this was done was to show sanchez they have confidence in him, peyton wasnt comming, there are only 2 good qbs in the draft and they wanted more cap space. with that said i think mark deserved 1 or 2 more years to show he can be a good qb

  • Tommy

    What a waste of money. $20 million a year? Nuts, Nuts, Nuts. Agreed, Jets rhymes with Mets.

  • Bill Burkhard

    I have been a Jets fan since 1961 when they were the Titans. Nothing has changed. They should have never picked Sanchez to begin with and extending his contract after this last season is pure lunacy. He is divisive on the field and in the clubhouse and you give him more. Unbelievable

  • ed tajdar


  • Jt

    Jets and Mets fall from the same tree there owners are complete fools!

  • massarsk

    As a patriots fan, I would like to thank the jets for guaranteeing we win the division for the next 5 years.

    • ed tajdar


  • jzp

    Dumbest thing they’ve done in a long time – dumb, dumb, dumb. Play like crap and get rewarded with 58 mil – yeah, that’s the way to build a winning team with a winning attitude. MORONS!

  • rob

    Love the signing here. Brady wont be around forever, Bills have Fitz signed long term which will be a disaster, Miami situation is a mess. Best QB deal in the division.

  • T.L.

    YOU HAVE TO BE F”N KIDDING THIS TEAM WILL NOT WIN 5 GAMES NEXT YEAR, YOU FREAKING IDIOTS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Saul

    You don’t have to be a genius to know they were rebuffed by Peyton and are now doing an about-face. If Peyton would have shown a shred of interest in coming to the NYJ, they would have gone all in. The is Eli’s town and didn’t want to interfere with that as a good brother would do.

  • Solis

    Muy feliz..Gracias

  • gary

    i think this was a smart move. The jets needed stability and a leader. Now the Jets need to improve the offensive line and the running game. Manning was not coming to NY to compete with his brother.

  • Travis

    Sounds like they never had a chance to get Peyton Manning. Tough to see them winning a championship with Sanchez.

  • Brotherd

    Moves like this are what bad franchises do. They overreach on plan B when plan A falls apart, or they need to save face. There was no reason to commit to Sanchez. Now, if he shows that he is not the QB of the future, they are stuck. On the other hand, are they really, I’m not sure if that money is guaranteed. Is It?

  • blic

    very smart!!

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