THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY IT'LL HAPPENBy Mike Mazzeo
Peyton Manning? Rex Ryan said he'd take Manning. I would, too. But let's say Manning isn't on the table. Then what?
The Jets could try to trade up on draft day and land Heisman winner Robert Griffin III, but they have so many other needs elsewhere -- they need to get younger and faster on defense -- and brass isn't going to want to admit it made a mistake by trading up in 2009 to land Sanchez.
Sanchez -- who is due a $2.75 million roster bonus in March -- established career highs in both passing yards and touchdowns this season, but he needs to improve his completion percentage and cut down on the turnovers.
The Jets, meanwhile, are trying to sell everyone from the Jaguars to Jets fans on offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Not going to work.
The Jets need to make a change there -- whether it's promoting Bill Callahan or hiring Josh McDaniels. Sanchez shouldn't be throwing the ball 59 times in a game or completing just two pass plays of 40 or more yards on the season.
Someone needs to put Sanchez in the best position to succeed, and that someone isn't Schotty.
GM Mike Tannenbaum would also be wise to bring in a veteran backup who will push Sanchez.
Sanchez has won four playoff road games -- a fine accomplishment -- but he needs to take that next step to becoming an elite quarterback.
It's up to Tannenbaum to make sure that happens. That's why he needs to put the right pieces -- from players to coaches -- around Sanchez.
That's the only way it can work.
DOESN'T LOOK LIKE HE'LL EVER BE ELITEBy Jane McManus
Could be scheme, could be talent; it's hard to know.
The Jets threw passes of more than 40 yards just three times this season, and one of those was at the hand of rookie wide receiver Jeremy Kerley in the Wildcat. Sanchez doesn't launch those hold-your-breath passes that fans love to see from Eli Manning, Drew Brees or any of the other first-tier quarterbacks.
Look at Cam Newton, a rookie. You can see him developing into an NFL quarterback as the games go by. With Sanchez, you don't.
He's not in the elite category. He's probably not going to get there.
Critics say he's taken a step back on the field, but he's taken a step back in terms of candor as well. In interviews, he went from witty and informative to clichéd and reluctant, like a sullen teen angrily closing his door.
That said, Sanchez reached the AFC Championship Game twice. He did that while playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the league. That line took a step back this season when there were no serviceable backups.
The Jets traded up and opened the bank to pay Sanchez. They are tied to him for at least another year. He may not be a Hall of Fame quarterback, but he could get the job done if he has the right pieces around him.