Let’s just cut through the crap here. I have no idea what the Jets were thinking last off-season, but it is clear it will take years to get out from under the mess they’ve created. In order to understand this, we need to do a Sgt. Joe Friday-style breakdown of the facts involved in this catastrophe.
FACT: Last March, the New York Jets’ general manager Mike Tannenbaum thought Mark Sanchez was their quarterback of the future.
FACT: This was after the Jets traded for Tim Tebow, which was Tannebaum’s reponsse to Rex Ryan’s request for help at the quarterback position.
FACT: Tannebaum gave Sanchez an extension, making his contract worth more than $58 million over five years. This was after the Jets committed to at least $2 million per year (which could escalate with incentive clauses) with Tebow. That means the Jets are currently paying in the neighborhood of $14 million dollars per year for quarterbacks they are desperate to unload on somebody. That’s number gets even more painful when you look at guys who are getting paid the same or less than the roughly $12 million the Jets are paying for Sanchez. Just for starters, look at the next six guys in terms of salary…
- Philip Rivers – $12,000,000
- Ben Roethlisberger – $11,600,000
- Tony Romo – $11,500,000
- Matt Ryan – $10,000,000
- Tom Brady – $9,750,000
- Drew Brees – $9,750,000
“I don’t think I would have signed a quarterback to an extension knowing that he’d have 26 turnovers. That might be one of the reasons I’m right sitting here with you guys.”
No shit, Mike. You paid big cash for a guy who posted one of the worst seasons ever; 2,883 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, and 26 interceptions — which all adds-up to a quarterback rating of 66.9, just ahead of fellow USC quarterback Matt Cassel’s 66.7, good for second-worst in the NFL. In a complete aside, look up Carson Palmer’s numbers and cringe in horror when your team which needs a quarterback starts looking at yet another Trojan in Matt Barkley.
That’s exactly why all NFL GM’s should look at the Tannebaum situation and heed the warning…don’t let desperation drive your decisions. That’s what Tannebaum did, and less than a year later, he’s out of a job and digging his grave even deeper with silly defenses of his Sanchez decision.
“My core belief has always been, let’s try to draft as many of our good players as we can — the core — and sign them to extensions when it makes sense for both sides. So, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold. And again, here’s a guy that beat Tom Brady in a road playoff game, beat Peyton Manning on the road — so these are not hopes, these are not projections. These are real wins in the NFL.”
There’s so much red meat on the “Criticize Tannebaum” bone it’s almost hard to tell where to start…almost.
First of all, comparing Sanchez to three guys who have made Pro Bowls is like comparing a Ford Taurus of a Formula 1 race car. With his mention beating Tom Brady in a road play-off game and beating Peyton Manning on the road…well, those citations only make it clear that Tannebaum at one does not understand the meaning of the word “fluke,” and that those wins had more to do with the Jets’ defense when it wasn’t the laughable unit it has become.
But the final nail in Tannebaum’s coffin was the following statement.
“[Sanchez] was a young guy, football’s important to him, and we came up with a deal at the time that we thought was good for both sides. Obviously, he didn’t play as well this year, we didn’t coach as well this year, we didn’t get him as good players this year. But if we’re sitting here a year or two from now, I still think Mark’s going to be a good, credible quarterback in the NFL.”
So in one interview, you’ve admitted regret, admitted making a mistake, and admitted general failure, but then try to pull out of the nose-dive at the end with a complete contradiction “but if we’re sitting here a year or two from now, I still think Mark’s going to be a good, credible quarterback in the NFL.”
I’ll take the bet you aren’t a general manager in the NFL two years from now, Mike. That’s about as safe of a bet I can imagine.