In past years, Jets coach Rex Ryan would send starting quarterback Mark Sanchez a message by giving former backup Mark Brunnell some first-team practice reps.
This year, Rex opted for a different approach.
Sanchez was benched after throwing three interceptions against the Cardinals. And Sanchez now says that the message has been received.
“I think he was more or less sending a message,” Sanchez said Wednesday, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “It’s well received. I know. I got it.”
As he takes his job back, Sanchez sees the glass as both half full and half empty.
“It was probably the worst and best experience of my life,” Sanchez said. “Hopefully you learn from it and move on and never look back.”
Sanchez definitely seemed to be trying to learn from the experience, furiously scribbling notes onto a clipboard, which prompted a smart-aleck tweet that was retweeted more than any other PFT tweet ever has been retweeted.
Still, the Jets have 8.25 million reasons to stick with Sanchez. That’s what they owe him next year, regardless of whether he’s the starter, the backup, the third-stringer, or the personal punt protector — or whether he’s even on the team. His pay is fully guaranteed with no offset; even if the Jets cut him and he gets $8.25 million next year from someone else, the Jets will still pay Sanchez $8.25 million.
With the $120.6 million salary cap not expected to go up much if at all, that’s too much money to spend on a guy you’re not using. So the Jets have to spend the rest of this season working toward making him good enough to be the starter again in 2013.
After 2013, the guarantees go away. And Sanchez possibly will, too. Until then, they’re stuck with him.