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Johnson: Jets 'passed' on Peyton Manning in favor of Sanchez

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson said Tuesday that his team explored the possibility of signing Peyton Manning but ultimately "passed" on pursuing the four-time NFL MVP in favor of a five-year commitment to incumbent quarterback Mark Sanchez.

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"We looked at the body of work of Mark Sanchez and wanted to put our faith in him," Johnson said on Fox Business Network, according to the New York Daily News. "We have a new offensive coordinator, Tony Sparano, who loves Mark and the team he has around him.

"Mark is a very confident guy but not confident to a fault," Johnson later added. "I think he's going to be an excellent leader. I think we'll see a so-called growth spurt this year. I think he'll be very good with Tony's offense."

Sanchez, who received heavy criticism at times last season for his play, on Friday signed a three-year contract extension worth up to $58.25 million, with $20.5 million guaranteed. The extension gave Sanchez five years under contract.

"Sanchez is not leaving," Johnson said. "We've got a pretty good tether. We've got five years. We like Mark."

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