The talk of Peyton Manning to New York can end now, thankfully.
The New York Jets have made a firm commitment to their starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez, giving him a three-year contract extension that runs through the 2016 season.
Sanchez had two years remaining on his rookie deal, and is now guaranteed $20.5 million over the next five seasons. The max value of the contract is $58.25 million.
Most importantly, it gives the Jets some flexibility with their cap space.
Sanchez’s cap number in 2012 was around $14 million, and while it’s not known how much money the Jets will save towards this year’s cap, it’s expected to be a significant amount.
Update: Reports are indicating that the deal restructure his 2012 base salary to $11.75 million, $3.25 million of which is guaranteed. It gives the Jets $6.4 million in extra cap space in 2012.
With the complicated salary cap gymnastics and non-guaranteed contracts in the NFL, it’s often tough to read exactly what a deal like this means.
Symbolically, it shows the Jets have full faith in Mark Sanchez going into 2012 and 2013. It also appears to give them an emergency out if they feel they want to move on after that.
There’s no doubt that Sanchez individually and the Jets as a team need to improve in 2012. Now they firmly know who will be at the helm, and they can focus on what they need to do to get better.
It’s a good move for the Jets, as they try to free up as much cap space as possible for 2012 free agency, and it’s good for Sanchez as he continues his development at age 25, going into year four of his NFL career.