Tannenbaum: Sanchez 'will be our starter'

New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum made a strong statement in support of embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez this week.

"Mark will be our starter," Tannenbaum told Jets season-ticket-holders Friday on a conference call, according to ESPN New York's Rich Cimini.

"Will be" is significant because it projects Sanchez to be the starter entering the 2012 season. If Tannenbaum said Sanchez "is" the starter or the starter "for now," that would leave the door open for more speculation that New York is trying to find an upgrade.

What is interesting is that this statement comes just one day after Jets owner Woody Johnson didn't close the door on trying to acquire Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. Johnson also backed Sanchez, but didn’t say definitively that Manning wouldn’t be an option if he becomes available.

After the Brian Schottenheimer situation, it’s tough to know who to believe in New York. The Jets said after the season that "Schotty" would return as offensive coordinator if he doesn't get a head-coaching opportunity. Schottenheimer didn't and he "resigned" soon after. The Jets already had their replacement -- Tony Sparano -- lined up and there were multiple reports the Jets had agreed to go in another direction weeks earlier. Something didn't add up.

But Sanchez's return as starter does seem probable. The Jets really have no choice. The Colts aren't trading Manning, and if he's released, it probably because his neck injury is a major issue.

The best the Jets can do is probably get someone to push and compete with Sanchez in an effort to get the best out of the third-year quarterback.

Anyone up for a Chad Henne-Tony Sparano reunion in New York?