Article first published as As Gang Green Turns: Jets Sanchez Extension Means Manning Turned Rex Down on Blogcritics.
In my previous article I indicated that Jets head coach Rex Ryan had to change his spots if the Jets had any chance of landing superstar quarterback Peyton Manning. One day later we learn the Jets have given current quarterback Mark Sanchez a three-year extension worth $40.5 million, meaning now we have five years more of the Ryan-Sanchez era. Excuse me, but the silence in New York is deafening this morning.
We Jets fans have to know what this means: we are stuck with King Rex and his brand of football, kind of the way we Mets fans are stuck with the 2012 team that is already beaten up and destined for .500 ball or less. I guess we should be kind of used to this by now, but it gets old pretty fast always waiting for next year.
Now don't get me wrong, there is a snowstorm's chance in July of me ever switching to Giant blue or Yankee pinstripes. I have Jets green and Mets orange and blue in my blood, born from losing and the hope that once sprang eternal from the mists over Ebbetts Field, the Polo Grounds, and Shea Stadium. Still, I think we Jets fans all woke up this morning, saw this headline about Sanchez, and wondered how things can go this way.
Quickly clicking on the radio to listen to my favorite sports stations (WINS, WFAN, and ESPN here in New York), I switched back and forth to get more details. One thing I heard really hit me hard: Jet icon Joe Namath advised Manning not to get into the Jets soap opera. If good old Willie Joe thinks Ryan and company are toxic, the prospects for the future (as long as Ryan reigns) are dismal to say the least.
You can imagine that Peyton was seriously considering the Jets chances for a trip to the Super Bowl, but with Namath's advice and his legacy to consider (no doubt also realizing how well things worked out for Brett Farve here) he decided it was not worth it. This is what Rex Ryan has done to the Jets; instead of attracting the best players the way he thinks, he is turning them away.
Some may feel that this extension confirms the Jets belief that Sanchez is their man for now and the future, but don't be fooled: this is strictly damage control. They are saying "Sanchez is our man; and this is Ryan's team." In reality this is pure desperation because the team was backed into the corner by Manning's decision to say no to Rex.
So Jets fans you know what we're in for now and for the next five years: more of the same, mediocrity disguised as a game plan. Better get used to it because Rex and Sanchez are here for there long haul on the road leading to nowhere.
Photo Credits - Daily News