I could barely conceal my frustration when the news hit my phone. The taunting texts came pouring in and followed me for days. That I did not respond did not lessen their volume or voracity. My Giants-and Patriots-supporting friends were rejoicing in my certain disappointment.
And I couldn’t blame them.
I had been so vocal about my hatred that I just couldn’t understand why the otherwise reasonable Mike Tanenbaum and Rex Ryan thought that this was a good idea.
So I went into hiding for a while to avoid the inevitable humiliation that this introduced to my social life.
So, yes, you could certainly say that Mark Sanchez signing a contract extension with the Jets ruined my week.
I am not going to suggest that the prospect of signing Peyton Manning was enough for me to will the Jets to blindly jettison Sanchez. But actually signing Peyton Manning would certainly have been cause. And for the Jets to preclude this possibility by committing to the erratic Sanchez before the Manning debacle had been settled came across as foolhardy. Perhaps the very notion of flirting with Manning was deemed too risky?
Regardless, this was a strong play by the Jets front office. But it was the wrong play. And it made me lose a little confidence.
But, just as I was beginning to doubt their competence, they did something to restore my faith.
They told me that they had made a mistake with Sanchez.
And this is what Jets fans sorely needed.
Now, I am no Tebow homer. I am fully aware of his shortcomings as a quarterback and the limited effectiveness that he brings to the position. I am also quite aware of the unwanted attention that he may bring to the team. But there is no denying that the Jets brought him in because they felt that they may have whiffed on the Sanchez extension and needed some form of contingency. Lord knows, the aging Marc Brunell was not a viable option.
But is it possible that they traded for the Broncos QB to be more than just a backup?
A lot was made about the fractious locker room at the end of the 2011 Jets season. And a lot was made about Sanchez’s frigid relationships with his receivers, most notably with Santonio Holmes. To end an 8-8 season amid reports of such a negative locker room made the resultant extension all the more puzzling. Mark Sanchez appeared to lose control of his offense and his very average play was certainly a factor in the dismissal of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. To say otherwise would be disingenuous.
Conversely, a lot was made about how much the Broncos adored Tim Tebow and his ability to lead a very average team to a playoff victory. To end a 9-9 season (including playoffs) with a veritable orgy of praise for the young QB made the Broncos’ pursuit of Peyton Manning somewhat surprising. But understandable.
So, predictably, during the ensuing offseason, the Jets re-committed to Sanchez and the Broncos dumped Tebow.
While the trade for Tebow may have appeared to be a proverbial Winnebago-scooter swap, the Jets were, in the eyes of their fans, able to totally redeem themselves.
The Jets now employ two young quarterbacks that are rich in handsome and not much else. But that’s fine. Combined, they are good enough to provide new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano options to design a scheme that can keep defenses guessing. With Ryan re-committing to a ground attack and an always feisty defense, the pieces are starting to fall into place.
So now the real question remains: what will become of Sanchez and Tebow?
To me, the answer is very clear.
All you need to do is give Kyle Orton a call.