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Tannenbaum looks back with regret on Sanchez’s contract, turnovers

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Former Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum says that if he had to do it all over again, he wouldn’t have signed quarterback Mark Sanchez to a long-term contract extension last year.

Tannenbaum said on NFL Network’s NFL AM that if he had known what kind of 2012 season Sanchez would have, he wouldn’t have pulled the trigger on the extension.

“I don’t think I would have signed a quarterback to an extension knowing that he’d have 26 turnovers,” Tannenbaum said. “That might be one of the reasons I’m right sitting here with you guys.”

It’s not surprising that Tannenbaum regrets the Sanchez extension, and Tannenbaum may be right that it’s one of the main reasons he was fired last month. But it’s odd that Tannenbaum would claim he wouldn’t sign a quarterback to an extension after 26 turnovers because Sanchez actually had 26 turnovers in 2011, too. In fact, Sanchez was incredibly consistent on the turnover front from 2011 to 2012: He had exactly 18 interceptions both seasons, and exactly eight lost fumbles both seasons. If 26 turnovers in 2012 make Tannenbaum regret signing Sanchez to an extension, then 26 turnovers in 2011 probably should have made Tannenbaum think twice about signing Sanchez to an extension a year ago.

In any event, Tannenbaum also defended a lot of the moves he made, and he mentioned multiple times on NFL AM that he was the general manager who made the decision to draft All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis. Tannenbaum would prefer to be remembered as the guy who drafted and extended Revis, not as the guy who drafted and extended Sanchez.

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62 Responses to “Tannenbaum looks back with regret on Sanchez’s contract, turnovers”
  1. fuglyflorio says: Feb 14, 2013 12:07 PM

    Right. It was Sanchez’ fault. Right.

  2. lightcleric says: Feb 14, 2013 12:08 PM

    When you make a screw-up so big that it completely wrecks the team, it’s naturally going to be your legacy and frankly it should be. People in KC and Arizona made equally big blunders and that’s what they’re remembered for.

  3. azarkhan says: Feb 14, 2013 12:13 PM

    But if you listen to Jet fans, it was always the offensive coordinator (pick one) who was the problem.

  4. dirtdawg54 says: Feb 14, 2013 12:14 PM

    He fell in love with the “but he took us to two AFC Championship games” line, however most objective observers had already noted Sanchez was a pretty average QB at best who stayed out of the way of those playoff runs more than he directly influenced them.

    If you can’t figure out that QBs with ratings in the mid 70s, in this day and age, aren’t productive starters never mind deserving of large contract extensions than you absolutely deserve to be relegated to the sidelines where you can debate your legacy all day long.

  5. jagsfan1 says: Feb 14, 2013 12:16 PM

    Who brought Rex Ryan in? They need to be fired as well.

  6. hehateme2 says: Feb 14, 2013 12:19 PM

    This is nonsense. Sanchez has averaged about 20 turnovers per year since he started. He leads the league in turnovers- not just from last season.

    The way they have coddled sanchez has been the problem. He’s not a leader and probably never will be.

  7. Max says: Feb 14, 2013 12:20 PM

    while he’s talking, what is exactly the true Tebow story?

  8. ppc50 says: Feb 14, 2013 12:20 PM

    The guy lost his job, trying to come up with excuses to save face, and it doesn’t look good. Sanchez wasn’t the only mistake he made, he made a lot of others. Just an attempt to join the carousel of recycled personnel guys (and coaches) in the NFL.

  9. tannethrill says: Feb 14, 2013 12:20 PM

    The roster and cap are a mess but frankly it’s what the owner wanted when they brought in Rex.

    Granted there was early success but it took overpaying in trade and free agency to do it which the owner obviously stamped with approval.

    Mismanagement and maybe even a false sense of security did Tannrnbaum in aside from his poor drafting and cap management.

  10. dietrich43 says: Feb 14, 2013 12:21 PM

    That extension to Revis is part of their cap problem now. Even when he did something right, it still hurt the team in some fashion.

  11. hanspard says: Feb 14, 2013 12:23 PM

    Being connected with the near-constant mess that his Revis’ contract problems wouldn’t be something I’d boast of either.

  12. patriotinvasion says: Feb 14, 2013 12:24 PM

    Incompetence is an ugly thing.

  13. gochargersgo says: Feb 14, 2013 12:26 PM

    This whole staff deserves to be defined by the failure of Mark Sanchez. Anyone who watched NCAA knew his skill set was iffy, and yet they sold the farm in order to trade up and get him. Even after he clearly(to everyone besides them, apparently) was not improving, they continued to support him. The extension last summer was just the icing on the cake.

  14. jetfanfolife says: Feb 14, 2013 12:26 PM

    What, the turnovers the season before that didn’t give you a hint?

  15. pisano says: Feb 14, 2013 12:26 PM

    Close the barn door after the horses have already gone, sure thing Mike, all is forgiven.

  16. dowhatifeellike says: Feb 14, 2013 12:26 PM

    Doubling down on stupid often leads to unemployment (unless we’re talking about public office).

    Did anyone else see the Bleacher Report QB rankings out today? Out of the 65 QBs in the league, Sanchez is ranked #63.

  17. zenrooster says: Feb 14, 2013 12:31 PM

    This is why he is useless. Most fans knew ahead of time that was a dumb move and he has to look back in regret?

  18. jetgreeeen says: Feb 14, 2013 12:31 PM

    Tanny should get part of the blame….but….we all know QB’s get treated differently than other players on the team. I’m sure that deal didn’t get done without the blessing of Woody (who signs the checks), Bradway, and Rex….so they should get blame too.

    Sanchez, should take alot of heat too.

    This is a common tale in the NFL, high profile draft pick not panning out.

    Too bad Tanny will be remembered for this, as he did help bring alot of good players to the team.

  19. j0esixpack says: Feb 14, 2013 12:33 PM

    He had to know he was gone following the now legendary “Bum-ble”

  20. rc33 says: Feb 14, 2013 12:34 PM

    Sure, The Sanchize had 6 fumbles in both 2011 and 2012 but only 2012 can claim it had one of the most memorable fumbles in NFL history. Brandon Moore’s career is forever changed.

  21. nflsucker says: Feb 14, 2013 12:35 PM

    Might be good to save these comments for posterity, because it’s so easy to imagine Rex Ryan being interviewed this time next year and saying:
    “I don’t think I would have started a quarterback for sixteen games knowing that he’d have 26 turnovers. That might be one of the reasons I’m right sitting here with you guys.”

  22. JackAcid says: Feb 14, 2013 12:39 PM

    That extension stunk from the second he signed it, with or without Sanchez’s year last year.

    It was on par with Buffalo’s decision to give Fitzpatrick a huge payday after 6 good games.

  23. phyrmun says: Feb 14, 2013 12:42 PM

    It is not his fault. Leon can’t do it all.

  24. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: Feb 14, 2013 12:47 PM

    Holy moly…52 turnovers in 2 years? Wow…that is pathetic. That’s about a million bucks a turnover I’m guessing.

  25. grogansheroes says: Feb 14, 2013 12:49 PM

    I think most fans of not only the Jets, but the rest of the NFL, could have told Tanny not to sign this guy to a big contract “before” last year. Amazing this guy makes more than Mevis.

  26. tyler4richardson says: Feb 14, 2013 12:50 PM

    The league is a funnier place when the Jets suck.

  27. skittlesareyum says: Feb 14, 2013 12:56 PM

    Let’s be fair to Mike. Knowing what they did at the time, who wouldn’t have signed Sanchez to that deal?

    Oh right, literally everyone else.

  28. weepingjebus says: Feb 14, 2013 12:57 PM

    Not surprised he was signed, Sanchez has been improving steadily. Any idiot can just have 26 turnovers a year, but it takes a master craftsman to come up with turnovers like the Butt Fumble. Another season of this and Sanchez will be approaching a savant level of turnovers, turnovers so rich with pageantry and mysticism that people will still be able to read them on cave walls 100,000 years from now.

  29. cromags says: Feb 14, 2013 1:00 PM

    “it’s odd that Tannenbaum would claim he wouldn’t sign a quarterback to an extension after 26 turnovers”. That’s not what he said at all, he said “knowing that he’d…” There’s a huge difference in meaning that’s being ignored by the news poster. I don’t even like the Jets, at least bash them for honest reasons though and not contrived stuff.

  30. granadafan says: Feb 14, 2013 1:01 PM

    Tannenbaum also brought in Tebow and allowed Rex Ryan to make the Jests, not only a circus, but also the biggest laughing stock in the NFL.

  31. jtt183 says: Feb 14, 2013 1:07 PM

    It’s really hard to win a championship with a QB that turns over the ball 26 times. I don’t think Belichick could win a SB with Sanchez at QB. Yes Tanny should get some of the blame for the extension(in hindsight) but if Mark doesn’t turn over the ball 52 times in 2 years, Tanny would still have his job right now.

    But 52 times in 2 years? That’s got to be some kind of record.

  32. flaccotoboldin says: Feb 14, 2013 1:26 PM

    I think the issue is also with the Jets front office.

    Who was there to manage the cap and check Tanenbaum on his math?

    Regardless of Sanchez’ turnovers, their cap was screwed, AND Sanchez’s contract left no out in terms of cutting him or restructuring the deal.

  33. scrp2 says: Feb 14, 2013 1:32 PM

    What does Broadway Joe have to say about this?

  34. nyjalleffingday says: Feb 14, 2013 1:46 PM


    And we weren’t wrong either. Schottenheimer and Sparano are both bad coordinators, Sanchez is just also a bad quarterback. The whole offensive unit is a turd, but it sure isn’t Mark Sanchez’ fault that some bonehead OC thought running LaDanian Tomlinson up the middle 4 times a row against Pittsburgh was a good idea or any of the terrible playcalls that have plagued the Jets for years.

  35. geezohman says: Feb 14, 2013 1:48 PM

    and here all the time i thought it was Eric Mangini who took credit for Revis ! ProBowl CB.

    After all the coach Herm Edwards.. was what.. 6-10 with the Jets.. and then Eric Mangini come in and took them to 10-6 ?

  36. bigbluefan56 says: Feb 14, 2013 1:56 PM

    They’re leaving out his biggest mistake of all, drafting Sanchez. THAT’S more the reason why he is where he is right now…

  37. EJ says: Feb 14, 2013 2:09 PM

    I can’t stand Coaches who pat themselves on the back after making an easy decision like taking a first round draft pick. Anyone can get the first round picks right. Considering that 80% of the players chosen in the first round end up having long successful careers. Now hitting on a 6th or 7th round pick, when that player was barely on the radar with analysts’ is a big deal. Not when a player is talked about for 4 years and put atop a pedestal by every scout in the league like Revis was. Anyone can make that pick.

  38. snikerbotloot says: Feb 14, 2013 2:10 PM

    The year they drafted Sanchez, they traded all their other picks and to get Greene & Slauson. Gave his team no depth. Just a bonehead move for a GM.

  39. iamedreed says: Feb 14, 2013 2:24 PM

    i said it at the time- paying a corner 16 million a season is a joke, and will put this team into salary cap hell

    detroit are you listening?? paying a WR (even megatron) 20M a season over 8 years is going to destroy that team

  40. ronmexicothecoachkiller says: Feb 14, 2013 2:25 PM

    This isn’t Sanchez’ Fault, That isnt Sanchez fault.
    What are you people watching?
    Sanchez is an absolutely horrible QB. Sanchez has a weak arm. Sanchez makes bad Decisions. Sanchez has Averaged almost 30 Turnovers a year. I knew it was a horrible high round pick when it was originally made. I am thinking when he was drafted…. Well, they have to know more than me to make the kind of commitment they did. I am sure Sanchez is a nice guy. I am sure he tries his best. he just is not an NFL QuarterBack.

  41. filthymcnasty1 says: Feb 14, 2013 2:40 PM

    This is a cautionary tale of woe that many GM’s should be able to relate too.

    Especially Rick Spielman, because he’s responsible for that noodle armed stiff, Christian Ponder.

  42. williamxl22 says: Feb 14, 2013 2:45 PM

    The difference between 2011 and 2012 for Sanchez was the infamous butt-fumble. That would make any GM regret his decision. It was quite hilarious though!

  43. toybkshr says: Feb 14, 2013 2:48 PM

    As a Pats fan, I wish the Jets woulda kept him.
    Oh well, he screwed the cap up enough, the Jet’s won’t be relavent for a couple more seasons

  44. riverhorsey says: Feb 14, 2013 3:08 PM

    Let’s not pretend Ryan didn’t want him long term. He does have the Sanchez jersey tattoo for life.

  45. sb139422 says: Feb 14, 2013 4:12 PM

    whoa. To all the commenters yapping on about the cap problems they have because of Tannenbaum… youre all correct. but please, please dont say that the extension to Revis is part of their problem. The guy is unanimously the best CB in the game. they are paying him a lot of money because that’s what any team would pay him. the cap problems are from giving 8 digit numbers to old, slow veterans and to a young uunproven, inconsistent QB. Heck, a backup lineman was gonna get 12 mil this year if they hadnt cut him. So please dont blame this on the revis deal.

  46. lrjets says: Feb 14, 2013 4:24 PM

    Ok…you regret it, but after signing Tebow, you give Sanchez an extension????
    You’re gone, and I fear the Jets might not be able to field a team next season.
    Liquidate the Jets, re-do the schedule for 31 teams, and you Woody, go back to your yacht club.
    We Jets fans who bled green will just go on watching bowling on ABC during games.
    Thanks a lot!

  47. lrjets says: Feb 14, 2013 4:45 PM

    toybkshr says:Feb 14, 2013 2:48 PM

    As a Pats fan, I wish the Jets woulda kept him.
    Oh well, he screwed the cap up enough, the Jet’s won’t be relavent for a couple more seasons

    As a Pats fan, one would think you’d have other things to worry about.

  48. blackbug99 says: Feb 14, 2013 5:02 PM

    As a Pats fan, one would think you’d have other things to worry about………

    As a Bills fan I can feel Jets fan pain…….but, you do it with such flair. We have no Tebow, Sanchize, etc. The Bills just need to get their act together; Not develop an act or reality show!!

  49. westof1club says: Feb 14, 2013 5:04 PM

    Tannenbaum is clown with no prowess as a GM. His moves for the organization were pure folly, from Santonio to Sanchez, to signing Tebow and Burress. The Jets definitely added by subtracting on that front.

  50. ferrisdp says: Feb 14, 2013 5:23 PM

    “The league is a funnier place when the Jets suck.”

    Line of the day.

  51. jets13 says: Feb 14, 2013 5:24 PM

    But if you listen to Jet fans, it was always the offensive coordinator (pick one) who was the problem.


    This couldn’t be more wrong

    Jets fans have always blamed Woody first, and Mr. T. second

    nice try trolling

  52. sclazo says: Feb 14, 2013 5:38 PM


  53. blackdonnelly says: Feb 14, 2013 5:47 PM

    Mikey T:

    Hindsight is 20/20. What’s gonna look worse: resigning Sanchez or signing Tebow in the first place? Either way, whatever legacy s going to be dulled a bit. Maybe he can redeem himself with another team. Just maybe.

  54. jsandals9 says: Feb 14, 2013 6:04 PM

    His biggest problem was drafting not signing Sanchez to an extension. The offense around Sanchez was not very talented when he started and has been getting worse every year. Sure Sanchez has made some terrible decisions. However there has been no consistency on the offense. The line might have a few pro bowlers but what QB gets hit more than Sanchez? They have not had the same receivers in any year since drafting Sanchez. Santonio runs whatever he wants and Keller is always hurt. How is a QB supposed to develop any consistency? The running game has been worse every year.
    Sanchez has made some bonehead plays but would he have done better with better talent around him?

  55. mackcarrington says: Feb 14, 2013 6:18 PM

    I recall Pete Carroll taking some when he didn’t endorse Sanchez leaving USC early. And after seeing what he did with Wilson, it would seem that Carroll knew a little about QB’s and is owed an apology. Maybe Tannenbaum should have called Pete Carroll and got a first hand opinion of Sanchez before he drafted him.

  56. lrjets says: Feb 14, 2013 6:24 PM

    Gotta love the NE fans cracking forever on the Jets. They had a great run with BB-Brady. At the end of the day, they didn’t win a Lombardi since 2004 when they should have. Maybe the missing piece of the puzzle is BB didn’t win without Eric Mangini.

    Another factoid. With all NE’s bragging, the overall NE-Jets record is 54-51-1.
    Guess they’d call that a dominating history too!

  57. phinfan says: Feb 14, 2013 6:32 PM

    Sanchez has declined in productivity for 2 years now. Even looking at it from a fan of football standpoint… I would have given him the boot before the beginning of last season.

  58. axespray says: Feb 14, 2013 6:46 PM

    Aside from Revis and Mangold – who’d this guy draft ?

    Sanchez/Golston/Kyle Wilson … smh

  59. pizzon says: Feb 14, 2013 6:47 PM

    Im sorry did I miss something? he said he wish he knew before he gave him the extension, if you had 26 total turnovers before he gave him the extension that in itself would have been a big red flag for me, unless they thought it was a fluke. my question is how are 26 turnovers considered a fluke?

  60. chanobayax says: Feb 14, 2013 6:56 PM

    Sanchez’s 2012 extension is one BIG reason he’s sitting there, for sure. Recent contracts and roster decisions are the very reasons he’s sitting there talking to you, Mr. Smith.

    Of course he regrets it, he has to say that so that maybe someone will think he’s had an epiphany and will let him in the door to call some more dumb shots.

    Talking about “if” he had known, then he would do something else or “I don’t think I would have signed a quarterback to an extension knowing that he’d have 26 turnovers,” having done exactly that, is just dumb management. There’s more to go around, but Mr.T….. See Ya!

  61. houstonoilers says: Feb 14, 2013 7:06 PM

    Typical, the honesty always comes out after the divorce, if he was still there he would say it was a great sign.

  62. monropoobah says: Feb 16, 2013 11:28 PM

    most of these comments are about 20 – 20 hindsight. sanchez was entering his fourth year and there was no reason to assume he wasn’t ready for a significant step forward. historically the fourth one has been a big year for new to the league qbs, including eli. i distinctly remember talk radio fans claiming he would never amount to that much midway thru his fourth.
    i’m not saying tanny didn’t make a mistake, it was a big one, made clear by how sanchez folded his tents in the face of adversity (and sometimes without it). i think it became clear he wouldn’t be a top 5 qb, maybe not top 10.
    ‘you’ saw it coming despite predictions to the contrary from a lot of top names in the nfl.

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