Sanchez crashed-and-burned at the tail end of the 2011 season, leading to speculation Cavanaugh would be let go last January. He survived, but he had his fate sealed when Sanchez became an outright liability for the Jets this season.
The Jets owe Sanchez more than $8 million in guaranteed salary next season, a fact that likely will lead to the embattled quarterback returning for a fifth season with the team. Cavanaugh (and likely offensive coordinator Tony Sparano) become scapegoats for Sanchez's failures.
In other Jets coaching news, ESPNNewYork.com confirmed a report that the Buffalo Bills have requested to speak with Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. The Jets granted permission, the New York Daily News reported. New Bills coach Doug Marrone is building his staff, and Pettine reportedly turned down a contract extension offer from the Jets during the season.
The Jets had a top-10 defense again in 2012, despite playing much of the season without star cornerback Darrelle Revis. If there's a strain in the relationship between Pettine and Jets coach Rex Ryan, what could be better than jumping ship to an AFC East rival?
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.