Mark Sanchez is laying the smack down

A $58.25 million contract can buy a football player a lot of things. For New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, it bought locker room credibility and automatic leadership.

Sanchez is cashing in early. He's currently making the media rounds and laying the smack down on anonymous teammates who ripped him after the season, calling them "gutless."

"If you're not going to put your name on something, why waste anybody's time?" Sanchez told ESPN 1050 in New York on Thursday. "Obviously, they had strong opinions about it, but not strong enough to say who they were."

Good for Sanchez, I say. Part of his maturation process involves taking control of the locker room and demanding respect. There was clear dissension behind the scenes last season, and clearly several of Sanchez's teammates didn't show him the respect to address issues behind closed doors.

Sanchez might never know for sure who the disapproving teammates were. But publicly calling them out shows the edge and leadership a starting quarterback needs. It's a good first step in the right direction for Sanchez.