In announcing that he has signed a new contract with the Jets, Mark Sanchez said he is now absolutely certain that he’s the franchise quarterback.
“I’m going to be the starting quarterback for the next few years here, and that’s exciting,” Sanchez said, in comments distributed by the Jets’ P.R. staff. “It gives the team just a reminder that I’m the leader of this team, and I’m excited to get back, and I’m going to be working my tail off these next few months to become the best possible starting quarterback that this franchise can have.”
At the moment, the full terms of the new contract are not available. So we don’t know whether this is really a deal that marries the Jets to Sanchez for years to come, or whether this is like the contract Donovan McNabb signed with the Redskins in 2010, which was advertised as ensuring he would be their franchise quarterback for years to come but in reality didn’t even keep McNabb’s starting job safe for that season.
And at the same time that they announced the new deal for Sanchez, Jets G.M. Mike Tannenbaum confirmed he had made overtures to Peyton Manning. But Sanchez said he had no problem with that.
“Not at all,” Sanchez said. “I knew that’s a part of Mr. Tannenbaum’s job, to look into every viable option, whether it’s at offensive line or running back, receiver, any defensive position. It’s something they have to do. But the best part about it is they chose to stick with me.”
Another issue facing the Jets is whether this contract is one more example of Sanchez being coddled by the brass, as multiple stories, quoting multiple anonymous sources, have indicated is a problem within the locker room. Sanchez disputed that notion on Friday.
“I think number one, if you’re an unnamed source, you don’t speak for yourself and therefore you don’t really speak for the team, so I really didn’t pay it any mind,” Sanchez said. “When people say I’m coddled, I wish they could just sit in a meeting after I haven’t played my best . . . there’s nothing close to coddling going on in there. At times, it’s pretty rough.”
If Sanchez is going to last as the leader of the Jets, he’s going to have to have a lot fewer rough times, and come back a lot better.