The New York Jets are officially out of the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. Mark Sanchez is now under contract through the 2016 season by way of a three-year, 40.5 million dollar extension.
The Jets are staying the course with Sanchez who has been under fire and a great deal of scrutiny following the team’s underwhelming 2011 season. While New York tested the waters in acquiring free agent Peyton Manning, the front office ultimately stuck to its guns, locking up the ‘Sanchize’ quarterback for the foreseeable future. Gang Green overhauled its offensive coaching staff in an effort return to a ‘ground and pound’ identity, a system in which Sanchez thrived during his first two years in the NFL.
With the additions of new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and offensive line coach Dave Deguglielmo, the Jets are aiming to play a fast and physical style of football. Sanchez, who scored 32 total touchdowns (26 passing, 6 rushing), showed flashes of brilliance in spite of poor offensive line play and a convoluted offense.
Under the new deal, Sanchez has the potential to earn 58.5 million over the next five years, making him the seventh highest paid quarterback in the game. With a renewed sense of confidence and financial backing by the Jets front office, the onus is squarely on the throwing arm of Sanchez to deliver results.
It was only three short years ago, starting in his rookie year, when Sanchez guided Gang Green to back-to-back AFC title appearances. While his supporting cast has changed drastically over the past three seasons, the Jets franchise quarterback has failed to live up to the organization’s lofty expectations.
With the Jets fully committed to Sanchez, the front office will focus on filling the holes in the roster via the draft and free agency. At a crossroads in his career, it’s truly sink or swim for Sanchez in 2012.
Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for Greenandwhitereport.com
You can follow him on Twitter @rlaughland
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