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Sanchez open to restructuring contract

ets quarterback Mark Sanchez speaks to the media

ets quarterback Mark Sanchez speaks to the media during a news conference at the team's practice facility in Florham Park, N.J., the day after the NFL lockout ended. (July 26, 2011) Credit: AP

Mark Sanchez knows the Jets are feeling the salary-cap crunch, and he's willing to do something to help free up some money: restructure his contract.

The third-year quarterback spoke openly about that possibility Tuesday afternoon, even mentioning that he's already spoken with agent David Dunn. Sanchez genuinely wants the Jets to bring back as many of their free agents as they can, which includes wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards.

Sanchez is due $14.5 million in base salary this season and can pocket as much as $17 million if he hits certain escalators. But he's ready to re-work things if need be and knows that's something he could use as a selling point to help entice the likes of Holmes, Edwards, Brad Smith, Antonio Cromartie or whomever to re-sign with the Jets. 

"Absolutely," Sanchez said. "And I'll tell the guys upstairs [in the front office] this, too. They know that. Whatever it takes to win. If it's throwing the ball left-handed, I'll throw left-handed. It don't matter. We need to win and we'll get the right players."

"Whatever we need to do," he added. "I think our whole team feels that way. If it's [Darrelle] Revis, me, whoever. It doesn't matter. So we'll do whatever we can."

With 17 free agents, the Jets' heirarchy is going to have to get creative in order to keep their main cogs. But Sanchez has confidence in his front office to get the job done adequately.   

"That's Mr. Tannenbaum's, that's Mr. Johnson's and Rex's -- that's like their third-down conversion. That's them trying to get a third-down conversion, that's them trying to throw a touchdown pass. That's them getting a sack. That's what we do on the field, well this is what they do in the offseason. I know they'll position us and acquire the best talent we can with the finances we have.

"But whatever it takes, whether it's adjusting contracts, delaying payment. Whatever we have to do, our team will do it. I know that and we'll be unselfish with it. So we'll figure it out."

Even if the Jets restructure Sanchez's deal -- among others -- that doesn't mean they'll be able to ink both Holmes and Edwards. Sanchez benefitted greatly from that dynamic duo a season ago, but understands there's no guarantee the gang will all be back together again.

"It was such a luxury to have both of them last year, and it's almost unrealistic to have that kind of receiving core again," Sanchez said. "But whichever guys we get back, it's going to be them playing really well and me getting better -- upping my completion percentage, being more accurate, throwing more touchdowns -- that will help us all. Whether we have Braylon and Santonio, and Brad, or one of the three, two of the three, whatever it is.

"It's a matter of both sides getting better."

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