On Wednesday night, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported that the Jets will try to trade quarterback Mark Sanchez. Shortly thereafter, we reported that the Jets will keep all options open.
It’s a distinction without a difference. If all options are truly open, one option is to trade Sanchez. And there can be no true evaluation of the option to trade Sanchez if the Jets don’t (wait for it) try to trade him.
Now, Bob Glauber of Newsday predicts that Sanchez won’t be traded. Or cut. Glauber reports that “two sources familiar [with] his situation believe” Sanchez will stay with the Jets.
This doesn’t trump the notion that the Jets will keep all options open. Instead, the specific language of the sourcing indicates that this is the predicted outcome of the Jets’ evaluation of their options. If Sanchez can’t be traded, with his new team paying enough of his salary to significantly reduce the $17.1 million cap charge that would apply to a pre-June 1 trade, the Jets have to decide between a $12.85 million cap charge for keeping him and a $12.35 million cap charge that would arise from cutting him, either after June 1 or with a post-June 1 designation.
The notion that the Jets will keep Sanchez becomes an important part of the posturing for a possible trade. Sanchez, if he’s not the starter, will prefer to be cut. That way, he gets the full $8.25 million from the Jets along with whatever a new team would pay him. If traded, Sanchez gets nothing more than his $8.25 million. So why would he show any interest in cooperating with a possible trade?
If the alternative to a trade isn’t being released but rotting on the bench, Tebow style, maybe Sanchez will be inclined to help facilitate a trade — even if it eventually means converting some of his salary to easily-reached incentives based on what he does in his new city.
Of course, without knowing who the sources are, it’s impossible to assess whether the prediction has any merit. But it’s reasonable to conclude under these circumstances that: (1) the Jets will try to trade Sanchez; (2) that they’ll fail; and (3) that they’ll choose to make him work for the $8.25 million they owe him.
In the end, no one will know what the Jets will do until we know who will be running the football operation come 2013.