So clearly Mike Tannenbaum reads my blog. How else do you explain Sanchez’s extension just hours after my post? Whatever the reason, I applaud the decision.
A lot has been written on this extension – the amount, the timing, the message it sends, etc. But if you really look into it, it was an incredibly savvy move. The Jets gave themselves major upside with minimal downside. By extending Sanchez now, they freed up significant cap room in 2012, allowing them to go out and sign some of the players that will be needed to make Sanchez successful (i.e. a downfield threat, a right tackle and another quality RB). Yes, they are committed to him in 2013, so if he totally fails in 2012, they will be screwed for a year. But, if he progresses like so many other 4th year QBs have (Elway, the Mannings, even Namath), then they will have one of the best QB bargains in the NFL. I thought the NY Daily News had the most unbiased and informed analysis.
By all accounts, Sanchez is a model teammate. He works hard, stays out of trouble, and supports the coaching staff. He’s admired by those players that really matter (LT, Mangold, Brick, Revis and Pouha have all been big supporters) and is built to handle the New York media hype. This extension sends a message to the team that they are committed to him and will continue to build around him.
And then today, the Jets have followed up by re-signing the one guy they couldn’t lose, Sione Pouha. He’s one of the best run stoppers in the league and one of the unheralded leaders in the locker room. Another great message to send to the team on the eve of free agency.
So…great work Jets. Now the real fun begins. Free Agency starts in t minus 22 hours with a lot of roster holes to fill before the draft. In some ways, this might be the most challenging and important off-seasons of Tannenbaum’s career. Good luck.