The Jets didn't waste any time in quashing those Peyton Manning to New York rumors.
The team re-upped quarterback Mark Sanchez to a new contract late Friday evening. General manager Mike Tannenbaum announced the move in a conference call to reporters. The deal is for three years, in addition to the two years he has remaining. Those three additional years are for $40.5 million, bringing the five year total to $58.25 million ($20.5 million guaranteed).
"I’m really excited to announce we reached in principle a contract agreement with Mark Sanchez," Tannenbaum said.
“We have been in negotiations with Mark and his representatives now for several weeks. Once the season had ended we talked about it internally. We feel really good about Mark as our starter. He’s done a lot of good things for us [as he is] 31-22 as a starter. Like all players there’s definitely areas to be improved upon. But with that said, with a three-year body of work we felt good about the direction of Mark and [head coach] Rex [Ryan] as a quarterback-coach combination.”
Sanchez signed a five-year, $44.5 million deal after being drafted three years ago, but rumors persisted that the team was interested in ditching the young building block for the future Hall of Famer Manning.
“Honestly I completely understand it especially after being in in the NFL [for three years] that this is a business and the team has its obligation to consider all its options,” Sanchez said.
“I’m excited that the Jets believed in me and that I was the guy they wanted to move forward with in the future. I really didn’t think too much into it.”
Reports on Thursday indicated that the Jets contacted Manning's representatives about a possible signing. Tannenbaum admitted they contacted them, but said Sanchez's negotiations had been going on "for weeks" as well.
“We looked into that possibility [of signing Manning] as someone to add to our team. We looked at it; we had discussions internally. We monitored the situation,” Tannenbaum said.
“But as events continued to unfold, we pushed the negotiations with Mark.”
Sanchez had a career-high in touchdown passes last season, but also struggled with inconsistency and turnovers. The team missed the playoffs and devolved to name-calling at the end of the season.
"He's a young player and like any young player there's inconsistencies," Tannenbaum said. "We think it will get better, more consistent."