The Jets made clear they are not going after Peyton Manning tonight, giving Mark Sanchez an enormous contract extension.
Sanchez, who had two years remaining on his rookie contract, received $20.5 million in guaranteed money, according to a source. It means he's all but certain to be the starter for at least two more seasons. He had no guaranteed money remaining in his old contract.
The contract also includes $40.5 million in new money, bringing the five-year total to $58.25 million -- plus an additional $10 million in escalators.
The $58.25 million gives Sanchez the seventh-highest financial package among NFL quarterbacks, sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.
A number of words come to mind when describing this contract such as insane, irrational, and irresponsible. If the Jets wanted to give Sanchez another year to prove himself and pass on Manning, it would have been one thing. What they have done is made a quarterback who has never hit 60% of his passes or registered an 80 rating in a single season one of the highest paid players in the league. There was a lot of talk about how the Jets have been coddling Sanchez. Giving him this kind of contract after a season where his play could be called average if one is generous frankly shows a lack of accountability in this organization.
Sanchez was under contract for two more years. Even if he lit it up this year, they could have given him the extension after the season and probably not have paid much more. This is not the kind of move a quality organization makes. This is an unnecessary risk and raises a lot of questions about Mike Tannenbaum.