Sometime in the next couple of days, Peyton Manning is going to announce he will play this season with the Denver Broncos, the Miami Dolphins or the Buzzsaw That Is The Arizona Cardinals. This announcement will be the biggest news story of the week, or at least will fill a couple SportsCenters until the tournament starts, and it'll change the landscape of whatever division/conference Peyton ends up in. And it even had an effect on our sleepy hamlet. Once Peyton Manning decided not to play for the Jets — and it's difficult to blame him for that — the Jets had to take care of their current quarterback. And oh, did they ever.
With Manning officially going elsewhere, the Jets turned around and gave quarterback Mark Sanchez — you know, the guy whose supposed deficiencies caused all the locker room discord last year, a quarterback who seems to have regressed every year since he came in the league — a better contract than he already had. Essentially, the Jets could have waited until the end of this season, after Sanchez has had another year to show what he can/can't do, and then decided whether or not to commit to him long-term.
This contract extension, though, guarantees him another $6 million and assures that Sanchez is going to be the quarterback for the next two seasons, at least. The Jets apparently saw enough last season to push onward and upward. They switched around their entire offensive staff to emphasize Sanchez's strengths this offseason — reportedly one of the main reasons Manning never seriously considered the Jets — and now they've given him job security. The Jets are officially all-in on Sanchez.
The strange thing about giving Sanchez more job security is just how much job security he already had. Sanchez, despite his shortcomings so far, has never had his starting job seriously challenged, and this assures it even more. The Jets have decided that they can do nothing without Mark Sanchez. Fans might disagree. But Rex Ryan and the gang are betting everything on him. It's Mark Sanchez or bust. Now there's a team slogan.