Yes, it’s really over.
Less than a year after the Jets renewed their vows with quarterback Mark Sanchez via a contract extension that bound the player and team together for at least two seasons, the Jets will try to foist the balance of said contract extension onto a new team after only one.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that the Jets will try to trade Sanchez in the offseason.
A trade makes the most sense. Apart from the face-saving value of getting something in return for the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft, trading Sanchez would reduce both the cap charge and the cash expenditure. As it stands, Sanchez is due to earn a base salary of $8.25 million in 2013, along with a workout bonus of $500,000. Since the base salary is fully guaranteed, the Jets will owe Sanchez the full $8.25 million even if he’s cut, with no offset even if he signs elsewhere.
The goal will be to try to persuade a new team to shoulder a portion of the financial burden. Mehta believes the limit for a trade partner will be in the range of $3 million.
Under our analysis of the potential cap hits from keeping, cutting, or trading Sanchez, trading him before June 1 to a team that would pay him $3 million in 2013 would still result in a cap charge of more than $14 million, which is more than the cap hit that would come from cutting Sanchez.
It’s also more than 10 percent of the total 2013 cap for a guy who wouldn’t even be on the team.
Trading Sanchez raises another issue beyond the 2013 season. With a contract that pays Sanchez $11.5 million in compensation come 2014, $14 million in 2015, and $11.25 million in 2016, his next team likely wouldn’t keep him for a second season, barring a significant restructuring.