It’s a given that quarterback Mark Sanchez won’t return to the Jets with a $9 million base salary and a $2 million roster bonus due later this month. But until he’s cut, there’s a chance he could stay, with a revised deal.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, it’s still too early to know how it will play out. Whatever the Jets offer Sanchez on a reduced contract could be more than what another team would pay.
The Jets haven’t committed to Geno Smith as the starting quarterback in 2014, but it would be awkward for G.M. John Idzik if the guy Idzik tried to displace returns to the team after a year spent on injured reserve and knocks Smith to the bench. For coach Rex Ryan, in contrast, it could be just what he needs.
Ryan is coaching for his job once again in 2014. If Smith can’t do lead the team to victory, then Ryan needs someone else to get it done.
The final outcome hinges largely on whether the teams potentially interested in Sanchez find other quarterbacks elsewhere, in the early days of free agency. By the time March 25 approaches, much more will be known about the available options — and much more will be known about whether and to what extent the Jets’ best offer compares to what another team would pay.
Yes, it’s tampering for another team to let Sanchez or his agents know what another team would pay. That won’t stop it from happening.
The Jets have the space to carry Sanchez’s $13 million cap number. Based on the way his latest contract was written, they also have some time.