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Tannenbaum wouldn't mind a do-over on Sanchez extension

Mark Sanchez attempts a pass during a game

Mark Sanchez attempts a pass during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. (Dec. 9, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

Mike Tannenbaum's media tour continued Thursday with a morning appearance on "NFL AM." 

The former Jets GM reiterated that, despite the collaborative nature of the team's front office, he had final say on personnel decisions. And that includes Mark Sanchez's recent extension.

And, naturally, hindsight is 20/20.

"I don't think I'd sign a quarterback to an extension knowing that he'd have 26 turnovers," Tannenbaum said with a smile. "That may be one of the reasons I'm sitting here with you guys."

The former GM, however, failed to mention that Sanchez had the same number of interceptions (18) and fumbles lost (8) in 2012 as he did in 2011.

Tannenbaum later defended his decision to re-sign Sanchez to a five-year, $58.25 million deal shortly before Tim Tebow came aboard in March.

"My core belief has always been, let's try to draft as many of our good players as we can -- the core -- and sign them to extensions when it makes sense for both sides. So, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold," he said. "And again, here's a guy that beat Tom Brady in a road playoff game, beat Peyton Manning on the road -- so these are not hopes, these are not projections. These are real wins in the NFL.

"He was a young guy, football's important to him, and we came up with a deal at the time that we thought was good for both sides. Obviously, he didn't play as well this year, we didn't coach as well this year, we didn't get him as good players this year. But if we're sitting here a year or two from now, I still think Mark's going to be a good, credible quarterback in the NFL." 

The Jets -- who are are currently $23.1 million over the 2013 salary cap -- are handcuffed to Sanchez because of that deal. But, of course, that's no longer Tannenbaum's problem. New general manager John Idzik must figure out how to add depth to his mediocre offense, while on a budget.

The reportedly have $110 million tied up in just 10 guys -- and Revis' $9M is their 9th highest cap number.

The former Jets GM spoke glowingly of Sanchez's "innate competitiveness," though he cautioned that "his competitiveness, in some cases, hurt him." Tannenbaum also disagreed with the assumption that Sanchez wasn't pushed hard enough under his watch, adding that his former starter "slept in the building on more than one occasion."

"...Again, we could have done a better job of getting more depth at the skill-player positions," he added. "But being successful in pro football is important to Mark."

So will Sanchez be the Jets' starting quarterback in 2013?

"I think Mark's going to be there," Tannenbaum said. "Obviously that's somebody else's decision now. But I wouldn't be surprised if they brought other people in as well." 

New York Sports