Mistake No. 4: Extending Sanchez’s contract
After the Jets surely flirted with signing Peyton Manning last offseason (they would have been crazy not too) they went back to Sanchez and reworked his deal to free up cap space while guaranteeing him money for 2012 and 2013.
Though the short-term ramifications of this move surely helped out the Jets salary cap the future is certainly hurt because of it.
The guaranteed salary for 2013 looms as a major problem right now. After Sanchez faltered again and again in 2012, and the Jets kept losing, and the whole world saw that a change in quarterback was the only answer, Ryan finally relented and benched Sanchez for the final two games—after they were already eliminated from playoff contention.
It would appear that the team finally has it right that Sanchez is not the answer at quarterback. But with a guaranteed salary there’s no easy answer of how to deal with the situation. Can they really pay a backup more than the starter? Would some other team want him?
Whoever walks into the Jets new general manager position will have a tough decision to make with this one.
Mistake No. 5: Trading for Tebow.
Understand this: Tim Tebow is a good quarterback—especially in the fourth quarter. He’s a true gamer. The mistake here was giving up a fourth- and a sixth-round pick for a player the team really didn’t play. Was this Tannenbaum’s idea all along? Hard to say. But with all the problems the Jets had had in finding players in the draft, limiting their draft selections for a player that didn’t play just added to their problems.
By the time this deal was made the Jets were clearly reeling from consecutive weak drafts from 2008–2010 and needed some playmakers in the offense. Though it’s not easy to find those types of players with mid-round picks, veterans are certainly available for that price as the Jets should know after giving up a fifth-rounder for receiver Santonio Holmes in 2010.
To Tannenbaum’s credit his first-round picks in 2011 (Muhammad Wilkerson) and 2012 (Quinton Coples) look like good picks so whoever replaces him certainly has some talent to work with as well as an excellent defensive coach in Ryan. Revamping most of the offense though, especially at quarterback will be the first, and most important, job for the new general manager.
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