New York Jets Rumors: Mark Sanchez Extension Led to GM Tannenbaum Firing?

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Feb 14, 2013 10:45 AM EST
Mike Tannenbaum Fired Because of Sanchez Contract?
New York Jets new head coach Rex Ryan (L) addresses the media with team owner Woody Johnson (C) and general manager Mike Tannenbaum (R) at a press conference at their training facility in Florham Park. "

Mike Tannenbaum, the recently fired New York Jets GM, spent his Thursday morning in "NFL AM" where he expressed thoughts on Tim Tebow and the Jets. However, the most interesting thing he said was in relation to the team's "franchise" quarterback, Mark Sanchez.

Tannenbaum was absolutely frank when asked about Sanchez's contract extension and how much sense it makes for the Jets down the road. "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."

Almost exactly a year ago, the Jets extended Sanchez three extra years meaning Jets fans might see this guy as their quarterback until 2016. The pay raise made Sanchez the seventh highest paid quarterback in the game and his numbers have been "eh," throughout his career.

Following the disastrous year the Jets had in the offseason after landing Tebow, for no apparent reason, and then benching him as Sanchez hobbled his way through the season, Tannenbaum was dismissed as the team's general manager. The Jets were 6-10 at the pit of the AFC East and NFL overall in 2012.

Many thought Tebow was the reason why Tannenbaum was fired as owner Woody Johnson washed his hands from the acquisition of the benched quarterback. However, it does make sense that Tannenbaum's poor judgment in extending Sanchez landied him a seat on a morning show discussing why he was let go.

The only positive news Jets can get from Sanchez's contract is that the final years of the contract aren't guaranteed as ESPN Reports.

"The money in 2014-2016 is not guaranteed. That includes $11.5 million in '14 ($2 million roster bonus, $9 million base, $500,000 workout), $14 million in '15 ($1 million roster bonus, $12.5 million base, $500,000 workout) and $12.25 million in '16 ($1 million roster bonus, $10.75 million base, $500,000 workout)."

For now, the Jets will have to find ways of improving. A running game was key in their 2009 and 2010 success and there are plenty of backs available in the market.

Tannenbaum will have to learn from his mistakes and prove to teams he has better judgment if he wants to form part of a front office any time soon.

Sanchez threw for 18 interceptions and fumbled eight times in 2012. He finished the season with 13 touchdowns.

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