PITTSBURGH PA - JANUARY 23: Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets calls a play against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23 2011 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Jets 24 to 19. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
We all know the Jets have a ton of guys to keep under contract this off-season. Tannenbuam said he would like to keep as many guys as possible, but there's a good chance the Jets will have a couple of casualties in free agency.
Something (or someone) has to give. Why not Sanchez?
According to nyjetscap.com, Sanchez's contract has about a $17 million cap value next year, the highest on the team. If you watched our little Sanchito play football over the past two seasons, he is not a $17 million-a-year player. For comparison, that's only a few million off Tom Brady's new contract.
Let's say we renegotiate Sanchez's contract down to $13 million, whether that is through giving him more guaranteed money or spreading it around his future salaries. That savings alone could almost pay for Braylon Edwards or Antonio Cromartie, or sign an Eric Weddle. Or buy Tanny and Rex lunch for all of training camp. Use your imagination.
Now, why would Sanchez go for this? Sanzhez's situation is not like a player like Tom Brady or Peyton Manning - the team's success is not generated solely on his performance. He has not yet proven that he can win with an average supporting cast like the Bradys and Mannings. It may cost him a couple million up front, but if he can help the Jets get better players to surround him, as long as he continues to win, Sanchez will have no problem making money in the future.
On top of that, he makes a ton of money off the field, now that he has become more established. Losing a couple million isn't going to kill his bottom line with all of his Taco Bell endorsements he has lined up.
What could keep him from wanting to take this cut? Well, simply put, he doesn't have to. He still has three years left on his contract. He is becoming the face of the franchise, and the Jets have a PR risk on hand if these talks somehow get nasty. I don't expect Sanchez to pull a Revis and hold out and have secret meetings at shady diners, but re-negotiating the contract of your franchise quarterback with a only two years under his belt is not something to be considered lightly.