Rex Ryan to stick with Mark Sanchez

According to a report by the New York Daily News, Rex Ryan won’t bench struggling rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez in favor for Kellen Clemens.

Sanchez has followed poor outing after poor outing the past couple months and is now only two interceptions behind league-leader Jay Cutler. Sanchez has also seen his completion percentage drop to 52.1 as the Jets have lost six of their last seven games.

But wasn’t all this expected? Just because Sanchez and the Jets got off to a hot start doesn’t mean that it was going to last all season. After all, he’s a rookie quarterback that didn’t have a ton of experience in college and is struggling in his first year. That’s not uncommon.

It’s important that Ryan stick with Sanchez and see him through the rest of the year. If Sanchez can get through this season, then he’ll see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that he can play in this league. But he needs to learn from the mistakes that he’s making or else he’ll never develop. It’s Ryan’s job to do everything he can to help Sanchez transition to the next level, which includes supporting him when he isn’t playing well.

Confidence is everything to a young quarterback. Ryan chose Sanchez to be his starter in preseason and unless the young signal caller turns into Ryan Leaf over the next couple weeks, then he should remain the starter. Don’t forget that Peyton Manning struggled in his first season with the Colts, yet he remained the starter the entire season. I’m not trying to compare the two players, but the situations could wind up being similar in the end if Ryan allows Sanchez to suffer through his growing pains.


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Jets sign Mark Sanchez to five-year, $50 million contract

The Jets reached a deal with No. 5 overall pick Mark Sanchez on Wednesday night, signing him to a $50 million contract that includes $28 million in guarantees. In comparison, the No. 3 overall pick in last year’s draft, Matt Ryan, received a six-year, $66 million deal with $34.75 million in guarantees from the Falcons.

Ironically, Sanchez, at least initially, was given more guaranteed money that No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford was. Stafford is only guaranteed $17 million according to this article, and not the $42 million that was initially reported. The rest of the “guaranteed” portion of Stafford’s contract is actually incentive based, which is pretty fair. (Again, this is assuming that the article I linked to is accurate.)

Getting back to Sanchez, he took less short-term money than Ryan in order to hit free agency sooner. The contract also has incentives that could max his deal out at $60 million, which is still a bargain considering the position he plays and how high he was drafted. It’s really a good deal for the Jets and it’s huge that they were able to sign him fast and therefore not have to worry about the threat of a holdout.

Now all Sanchez has to worry about is beating out Kellen Clemens for the starting job. All indications are that Sanchez will get the opportunity to be the starter as a rookie, but word has it that Clemens has looked sharp thus far in practice and isn’t ready to give into the GQ model.

I should note that I’m not in favor of the rookie salary structure in the NFL. Whether it’s a good deal for the Jets or not to have signed Sanchez for that amount of money compared to what he could have made give the day and age we’re in, it’s still absolutely ridiculous that a player who has never taken a snap in the NFL to get that much money. Something has to be done.

Should Sanchez start for Jets as a rookie?

Even though it appears he’s stating more of his opinion rather than actual fact, Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post writes that Mark Sanchez is going to start for the Jets next season. He notes that Sanchez can be a game manager and can certainly handle the offense, although he also notes that the Jets will likely rely on their defense early in the season in order to allow the rookie to gain confidence.

Before the 2008 season, I wrote how the Falcons should start Matt Ryan because he was the most NFL-ready quarterback in last year’s draft. I also noted that since Atlanta’s roster was so young, he should take his lumps with the rest of his inexperienced teammates and they could grow together. (Of course, while I was right on that projection, I was also the idiot that said the Falcons should have drafted Glenn Dorsey with the third overall pick and then fill their quarterback need with Brian Brohm in the second round.)

When the notion of starting a rookie quarterback is brought up, most pundits and fans rattle of the list of signal callers that eventually succumbed to the pressure (David Carr, Joey Harrington, etc, etc), and therefore note how awful of an idea it is. But Ryan and Joe Flacco’s performances last year might have gone a long way in changing that mindset, and you can’t leave Ben Roethlisberger out of the discussion of quarterbacks that started as rookies and went on to have great success.

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Rams buy Mark Sanchez a plane ticket

According to NFL.com, the Rams, who own the second pick in Saturday’s draft, have apparently bought a plane ticket for quarterback Mark Sanchez to travel to St. Louis on Sunday.

One thing that could be legit or be a ploy (it is interesting, if nothing else): The Rams, who hold the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, have purchased a plane ticket for USC QB Mark Sanchez to fly from Los Angeles to St. Louis on Sunday, when the team plans to introduce its top selection.

While the Rams have bought a ticket (hopefully, it’s refundable), they might not select Sanchez.
The thinking emanating from a lot of folks around here is that St. Louis will select Baylor OT Jason Smith. The Rams need to find a left tackle to replace veteran Orlando Pace, who was released in a cost-cutting move.

The Rams could be trying to generate some trade interest in keeping Sanchez’s name out there, but for a team that has won just five games in two seasons, drafting wisely would be prudent, to say the least.

Nonetheless, the plane ticket for Sanchez is intriguing.

As the article suggests, is this just part of the Rams’ master scheme to try and garner trade interest in the No. 2 pick or are they seriously planning on drafting Sanchez? They did seek, and were granted, permission by the NFL to negotiate a contract with a player if the Lions signed their prospect before the draft. Considering the Lions already have a deal in place with linebacker Aaron Curry and are working feverishly to sign Matthew Stafford, maybe St. Louis really does plan on selecting Sanchez. After all, Marc Bulger is on his last legs and it’s not like the Rams are developing a youngster behind him right now.

My question is, if they buy a plane ticket for Sanchez and don’t take him, are there any repercussions to that? I would have to assume that the Rams would have thought of that before buying the ticket, but it’ll be interesting to see if there is anything in league rules that says a team can’t do something like that before the draft.

What a bizarre story.

Browns: Brady Quinn isn’t available

According to a report in the Denver Post, the Broncos recently contacted the Browns about possibly acquiring Brady Quinn and Cleveland told them that the third-year quarterback wasn’t available for trade.

Well this blows my whole Mark Sanchez-will-be-a-Cleveland-Brown idea straight to hell. I wonder if the Browns don’t want to deal Quinn to a fellow AFC competitor or just don’t want to deal him period. Or maybe they want to deal Derek Anderson instead?

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this report is that the Broncos are still interested in acquiring a quarterback. When they traded Jay Cutler to the Bears a few weeks ago, several media outlets reported that Denver was satisfied with Kyle Orton as their starter.

But with two first round picks as leverage, the notion of Denver trading one of those selections for the opportunity to trade up to draft Sanchez surely exists. It just depends on whether or not head coach Josh McDaniels feels as though Sanchez can run his offense. If he does, then Sanchez could work behind Orton until he’s ready for game action.

Getting back to Cleveland, if Quinn is off the table, it’ll be interesting to see if the Browns make any trades this weekend involving players that are currently on their roster. For the past month, speculation has grown that the Browns could trade Quinn and/or Braylon Edwards by draft weekend, but maybe Eric Mangini isn’t as willing to part with those players as originally thought.
I’m dying to see what the Browns do at No. 5.

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