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Mark Sanchez's extension with Jets isn't all it seems

  • By Dan Hanzus
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The New York Jets' decision to extend the contract of Mark Sanchez was met with derision by many, but like the plot of a Spanish soap opera, it takes time to figure out what's going on.

Sanchez signed a three-year extension with the team on Friday, but he wasn't significantly richer or more secure when he woke up on Monday morning.

In 2012, Sanchez will make the same money ($11.75 million) he was set to earn before the extension. The difference is how it pays out: According to, Sanchez will now receive an $8 million signing bonus and a $3.25 million guaranteed salary, along with an offseason workout bonus of $500,000. The bonus is spread over the five remaining years of the deal, saving $6.4 million against the Jets' cap.

In 2013, Sanchez goes from a non-guaranteed $6 million to a guaranteed $8.75 million. The guarantee is nice, though it would have taken an epically bad season (think Blaine Gabbert, only more abject terror) for the Jets not to bring him back in the final year of his original deal.

All told, Sanchez will get $20.5 million guaranteed compared to $17.75 million of non-guaranteed money over the next two years. It's a "measly" raise of $2.75 million.

The rest of the deal is non-guaranteed, meaning the Jets can cut ties whenever they like. If Sanchez puts it together and becomes the quarterback they hope for, the Jets will have him under their control for three additional seasons at a discount rate. This was smart business.

Finally, there's a surreal aspect to the extension in the form of an escalator that can reach a cool $10 million if Sanchez leads the Jets to four Super Bowl titles in the next five seasons.

Of course, the Jets haven't been to a Super Bowl -- let alone won the damn game -- in 43 years. If Sanchez led the charge on a four-peat, the world would collapse into itself before the final check changed hands. The Jets are geniuses.


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