Ryan “absolutely” would like to have Sanchez back

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Quarterback Mark Sanchez remains under contract with the Jets.  With a $9 million base salary, a $2 million roster bonus due in late March, and 2013 second-rounder Geno Smith leading the team to an unlikely 8-8 record, it’s unlikely Sanchez will be back in 2014.

But coach Rex Ryan says he prefers that the team find a way to keep Sanchez, the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft.

Let’s just let it play out,” Ryan said Thursday, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.  “I always want guys back. . . .  [Would] I want him back?  Absolutely.  Would I want all my guys back?  You guys know my answer.  You know how I feel about my players.  That’s just the way it is.”

With at least one unnamed coach declaring Sanchez would be said unnamed coach’s starting quarterback from Day One, it’s hard to imagine Sanchez taking less money or accepting a backup role.  And while Sanchez remains the exclusive property of the Jets, its would be naive to assume that any team interested in making him the starter hasn’t found a way to make that known to Sanchez’s agents.

Even if there’s no team that wants Sanchez as a starter, he’ll be with the Jets only if he does a contract that pays him to be the presumed backup to Geno Smith.  And maybe Rex would like that outcome.

Especially since it would mean that he wouldn’t have to change the jersey number on his tattoo.