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Sanchez Gets Extension; Jets Out Of Chase For Manning
The New York Jets have extended Mark Sanchez's contract by three years and dropped out of pursuing free agent Peyton Manning.

According to, the team announced the extension for Sanchez in a conference call Friday night, and general manager Mike Tannenbaum says the Jets "looked at" going after Manning before deciding to stick with Sanchez.

The extension is for $40.5 million, averaging $13.5 million per year, NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported. That gives Sanchez five total years on his deal totaling $58.25 million, with $20.5 million fully guaranteed and no offsets in 2012 and 2013.

La Canfora said the deal makes Sanchez the sixth- or seventh-highest paid quarterback in the league.

Also, Sanchez has an additional $10 million in potential escalation, making the maximum value of the three new years $50.5 million and $68.25 million over the whole deal is, according to La Canfora.

Also worth noting is his age -- 25, meaning he'll be a free agent for the first time at age 30 if he plays out this contract.

Sanchez had two years remaining on the five-year, $44.5 million deal he signed when the Jets made him a first-round draft pick in 2009. It included $28 million in guaranteed money.

Sanchez led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game as a wild card in his first two seasons, but struggled as the Jets lost their last three games in 2011 to finish 8-8 and out of the playoffs.

The team subsequently moved on from offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, hiring former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano to replace him. The belief is, Sparano's run-heavy approach will take some pressure off Sanchez.

And who needs that more than the former first-round pick?

In case you missed it, New York Daily News staffer Manish Mehta first reported back in January that several key teammates and members of the organization painted a sobering picture of Sanchez following a season of discord, characterizing the QB as a polarizing figure within the franchise's walls.

They raised serious doubts about his ability to lead the Jets, questioning everything from his practice habits to the organization's coddling of him to how much of a role he truly played in the team making two consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances.

They also invited the opportunity to replace Sanchez with Manning.

The consensus among players who spoke to Mehta was that, at the very least, the Jets must sign a legitimate veteran backup to push Sanchez.

"We have to bring in another quarterback that will make him work at practice," said one player. "He's lazy and content because he knows he's not going to be benched."

Sanchez threw for a career-high 26 touchdowns and committed a career-high 26 turnovers (18 interceptions, 8 lost fumbles) last year. He helped the Jets lead the league in red-zone touchdown efficiency (65.5 percent) with 21 touchdown passes inside the 20 (fifth best in the NFL).

He also committed nine turnovers during the Jets' season-ending three-game slide.

Since entering the league in 2009, Sanchez has thrown for the second-most interceptions (51) and committed the second-most turnovers (63) in the NFL.

His inconsistent play had teammates wondering if the Jets can upgrade -- as recently as this week.

Asked by Mehta about the team's interest in Manning, one unnamed teammate said on Tuesday: "I want [Manning] in New York. He needs to be a Jet."

Now he won't be.

And Sanchez will be the team's unquestioned -- at least in terms of management's commitment to him -- for the foreseeable future.

It'll be very interesting to see how that sits with those not entirely sold on Sanchez, a group that appears to include his top wideout, Santonio Holmes.