Florio has posted a report that implies the Jets are really only paying Mark Sanchez an extra $2.75 million and that the contract has given the team essentially three option years. I'll give our dear friend Florio credit for getting the scoop on the particulars of the contract, but his methodology is off. He is pretty much telling you I'd imagine Jets PR would want you to think. The assumptions he makes underscores why this deal was a bad one, though.
Here's how Florio gets his numbers. The new contract guarantees Sanchez $20.5 million. Sanchez is set to make $11.75 million this year and $6 million next year. That adds up to $17.75 million. Subtract $20.5 million from $17.75 million and you get 2.75. Sounds less bad, right?
Here's the problem. That $6 million next year was not guaranteed. Remember all the talk about how this is a make or break year for Sanchez? Remember the talk about how he needed pressure? Remember how he was going to be gone if he couldn't cut it this year? Florio's numbers only work if Mark is on the team next year, which means this is not a make or break year. For both this reason and the new dead money cutting Sanchez would require, Mark is essentially guaranteed an extra year. The Jets committed an extra year to a guy who is an enormous question mark at the most important position on the field.
That was the entire problem with the contract in the first place. Committing to Sanchez any further is extremely risky and unnecessary. He was not going to be a free agent next year. If he had a good 2012, they could have extended him anyway with a contract in this area.
The move created $6.4 million in cap space according to Florio. This was a short sighted, extremely risky move that puts the team's future in peril. The Jets are going to the media looking to pull a Jedi mind trick by fudging the numbers. Maybe they were going to keep Sanchez through 2013 even if he collapsed this year, making this discussion moot, but that would have been just as bad.
Edit: One last thing you can't overlook is part of the reason this doesn't appear bad on the surface is Sanchez was really overpaid to begin with.