The Peyton Manning sweepstakes are over for the New York Jets, as the team gave QB Mark Sanchez a 3-year $40.5M contract extension, keeping him under contract through 2016. The deal includes $20.5M in guarantees for 2012, bringing his total over five years to $58.25M, according to sources. He can make an additional $10M in escalators.
This amount of money pretty much assures that the Gang Green are going to stick with Sanchez for the next few years. It also most likely means that if Sanchez doesn't improve, both Rex Ryan and GM Mike Tannenbaum will lose their jobs for putting their trust in Sanchez despite his recent struggles. Sanchez had a career high 26 turnovers last seasons and was vastly criticized for playing poorly at the end of the season.
Sanchez's salary cap number for this season was going to be around $14M and by extending his contract the Jets lowered that number, giving themselves more cap room to pursue potential free agent targets.
Sanchez has already begun the work to make a leap forward next season. He contacted former Jets QB Chad Pennington to work on learning the system of new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, whom Pennington played for in Miami. And perhaps most importantly, he said he has repaired his relationship WR Santonio Holmes.