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Mike T Again Demonstrates His Trade Craft

Posted by Randy Lange on April 25, 2009 – 8:41 pm

There is certainly a number of competing opinions about the Jets’ tradeup and drafting of QB Mark Sanchez today. I understand the Green & White fan and media base. As Rodney Dangerfield would say sweatingly as he pulled on his collar, "Tough crowd … tough crowd."

But I’ve also learned to trust in a few things with the Jets. The team’s scouting department, headed by Joey Clinkscales, knows what it’s doing, knows what it’s looking at.

As Rex Ryan said at his first news conference after his first first-round draft choice as an NFL head coach: "We certainly wouldn’t have taken Mark if we didn’t think he was a tremendous prospect and a guy that obviously we feel great about."

The other thing I trust in is Trader Mike.

Mike Tannenbaum seems to have a little Donald Trump in him for the art of the deal. He began his GM stewardship by trading John Abraham for Nick Mangold in 2006. The next year he made a very nice deal with the Bears for Thomas Jones, then charged up the first round 11 slots for Pro Bowler-to-be Darrelle Revis and up the second round 16 rungs for David Harris. The trade back into the first round for Dustin Keller looks very promising after one year.

For his next act, Tannenbaum needed to turn No. 17 overall into the QB that he, his coaches and his scouts, not to mention Woody Johnson, were sold on.

There were two parts to this deal. One was dealing with Eric Mangini, who took over the Browns’ coaching reins nine days after giving up the Jets’ reins. As many in the media seemed to be thinking, "Wasn’t that … awkward?"

But here’s another thing I learned about Tannenbaum and Mangini: They are realists.

"Eric and I had a good relationship and we continue to have a good relationship. We talk," Tannenbaum said. "I thought he did a really good job here — I’ve said that publicly and privately — and I expect him to do a good job there. We’re also really excited to have Rex right here. But Eric’s going to do what’s best for the Cleveland Browns and we’re gong to do what’s best for the Jets."

In the calculus of this trade, what was best for both teams was substituting three Jets players — QB Brett Ratliff, DE Kenyon Coleman and S Abram Elam — for the rest of the Jets’ ’09 draft picks.

"We thought some of these players would fit the defense that Rex’s brother, Rob, and Eric want to run," Tannenbaum said. "I look at it not as much ironic as it is more of an opportunity we could take advantage of. Traditionally, we’d have had to use a few more picks [to complete this deal], but instead of using picks, we could use players that have real value to Cleveland, so we thought it was a real win-win from that standpoint."

Is it tough losing Elam? Sure it is, after all the big plays he made last season. But with the free agency addition of Jim Leonhard to Kerry Rhodes and Eric Smith, safety is in good hands. (And remember that Elam made it to free agency before the Jets re-signed him.)

Is it tough losing Coleman? Sure, as the two-year starter at RDE he wasn’t a big sacker but he was a big tackler, a reliable piece to the kind of 3-4 Mangini wants to play. Now I don’t want to start handicapping position battles, but do you know who started at RDE in the Ravens’ style of 3-4 defense in 2004, when Ryan was the D-line coach? Marques Douglas.

Is it tough losing Ratliff? No doubt. But often in these deals, you have to give a QB to get a QB.

Will this deal work out? I don’t know. Sanchez has to beat out Kellen Clemens sooner or later, and I know KC has some different ideas on the competition ahead. Then should Sanchez do that, he’ll have to survive and thrive in the ghostly shadows of Joe Namath and Chad Pennington and maybe even Ratliff.

But I do know that Tannenbaum can play poker. With all kinds of rumors abounding — they’ll will trade to 8, they’re going to try to get to 2, they’re going to stay at 17, they’ll trade down — he stayed the course and pulled off his 16th trade involving draft picks since he took over the GM’s office in ’06.

Hopefully for fans of the Green & White, the 16th will be the sweetest of them all.

Sanchez Articles
Sanchez: ‘I’m Ready to Play My Butt Off’
Mike T Again Demonstrates His Trade Craft
Hollywood to Broadway: Here Comes Sanchez
Woody Praises Sanchez, ‘Huge Team Effort’ to Get Him
Jets Select Sanchez at No. 5
Clinkscales, Sanchez, Mayock on Jets Radio
QBs: Stafford, Sanchez Are Best in Class

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4/26 QB Sanchez 2009 Draft Press Conference
NFLN: Mike Tannenbaum on Moving up to Pick Sanchez
Coach Ryan Discusses Trading up to Get Sanchez at No. 5
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4/25 2009 Draft Round 1 News Conference with Mike Tannenbaum and Coach Rex Ryan
NFLN: Interview with Sanchez, Newest Member of the NY Jets

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Posted in Randy Lange | 40 Comments »

40 Responses to “Mike T Again Demonstrates His Trade Craft”

  1. By Vaughn on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    Love it!

  2. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    Thanks for this very calm, insightful, and balanced column, Randy. Anybody who’s been checking this site knows that I have some serious reservations about Sanchez’s arm strength. But I’ve found that rooting for a football team can be a lot like playing the game: When something changes on the field, you often find yourself having to do something very different from what you planned to do all week.

  3. By Ira on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    Randy, While i wanted Pettigrew the Jets stole Sanchez and they did the right thing. To Get him for only a 2nd rd pick and 2 b/u players and K.Coleman who will be replaced by Douglas this was a no brainer. I hate to see Elam traded but Lowery will probably slide into his spot. They also saved $ by moving Coleman. And Eric did Mr. T a big favor. Any other team he would have asked for more. GO JETS!

  4. By Frank on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    Sorry Randy but this trade absolutely stinks and may well go down as one of the worst in team history. The team is getting old especially on offense and he does not help the team now and may never. He is not a can’t miss Matt Ryan was last year and sitting at 6 we were in a better position to get him. There was a lot of talent available at 17 and in the second round that could have helped now.

  5. By Frank on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    Ironically enough Mangini picked Robiskie in round 2 and was the guy I most wanted to see us draft. We could have had Oher or Ayers at 17 and we would have been a much better football team right now. Instead we did nothing to improve our team for this season. This again proves Tanwoody needs a real GM who knows what he is doing. There is no organizational philosophy its more of the same.

  6. By CHEPS13 on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply


  7. By Alan on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    While i think we gave up alot, Mark Sanchez is actually a pretty good quarterback, and does HAVE GOOD ARM STRENGTH, as well with terriffic accuracy. Also Gholston will probably start at DE or OLB, since eric barton and Bowens are gone. Also Tannebaum hasnt had a bad pick yet in the first, with the exception of Gholston not getting to Play, i trust him. Besides he makes good picks on day 2.

  8. By JETS 4 LIFE on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    this is just to much for some jet fans to handle as we have not had a franchise QB for some time but I absolutly love the moveand agree with IRA we did not lose much but we gained a whole new dynamic at the QB position finaly we have our franchise player I know alot of fans are upset but it will subside and the team will move foward and the JETS will win some respect we stole the STAR of 09 draft

  9. By jetsmandan on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    I cant beleive they did this again. We are in the same position as before, but instead of Ratliff we have an unproven rookie in Sanchez, and 2 top 2 round picks and 3 players less. I just dont understand what is going through the heads of these people. another 2 years of embarrassment.

  10. By supercooljetfan on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    not for nothing i felt that the patriots didnt draft to well today…bills did pretty good tho…i jus heard in an inteview that the jets was sanchez’s top team that he wanted to get drafted by and i really believe thats true and cause of that this might be a good move..i was against this move but i hope to god!!! that i get proven wrong on this

  11. By Ray on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    Ira??? We stole Sanchez? We addressed zero needs and gave up five guys for one. I hope he pans out but we will never go to jail for this “robbery”. If Tannenbaum improve tomorrow we’re in serious trouble.

  12. By Rick Roucoulet on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    Ok – I think ive bellyached & complained enough about this pick – There’s nothing any of us can do about it accept one thing – See it for what it is & just support it now – Either this kid dominates or KC jumps ahead & leads this team – GOOD LUCK & may the best QB win… J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS

  13. By Christopher on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    I’m torn on this one, It was a good deal, if Sanchez becomes the franchise QB we need. We still have the 12th pick in the 3rd round tomorrow and my guy is still out there. I’ll be hoping that they draft Rashad Jennings with that pick. If they go WR, maybe Sanchez’s teammate Patrick Turner or Derrick Williams from Penn State. I would still go RB though.

  14. By albert on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    I think we could have gotten Cutler for less. Maybe kept our 2nd round pick and gotten some help on the O line or D line

  15. By Ira on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    While i felt other needs were more important you can’t pass up on a QB like Sanchez for a 2nd rd pick. How do you get 5 guys. They switched 1’s,gave up a 2 and 3 players who are all replaceable. Thats 4 to me. Phils Simms knows QB’s and he raved about Sanchez Friday. I trust him and think Sanchez could be a star.

  16. By Dan C on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    Awesome, there is no better GM in the league than Mike T.

  17. By Drew on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    1st… I hated that we had to trade up to 5 but I dont hate the pick. I am not a huge Sanchez fan but 6’3 230 with playing in pro style offense at USC…it could have been worse…We did use role players like Elam, Coleman (replaced by Douglas easily and Ratty) to save picks. So we basically gave up #52 to move up 12 spots. If he is a franchise QB we did well. I just dont love the player..yet!!

  18. By luke on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    WORST TRADE IN JETS HISTORY!!! we gave up 3 solid starters and draft picks for an unproven rookie… we adressed zero of our needs in the 2009 draft and will be worse off than we were last year… once again the jets terrible front office comes through and screws us for yt another season of embarassment


  19. By bigpete on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    Well guys, in Rex i trust! I wasnt happy with the decision myself but Sanchez is here now so lets give him our support!! It was good to give mangini his style of players and not break the bank. I think u guys are forgetting that we had a great team this year just a weak head coach, so we dont have any glaring needs except TE. I WANT ALL TO SEE THIS SO ITS IN CAPS, PLEASE DRAFT AN ACE FOR PUNTER!!!

  20. By MIKE on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    Initially hated the trade, cause depth is an issue. But Coleman was the only starter and the Jets were probably gonna replace him on Sunday so, it was really Sanchez for our 2nd rounder. I’ll take that any day. Good luck Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan.

  21. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    Jetsmandan, you’re seriously comparing Ratliff’s college career to Sanchez’s? Ira, you call taking a big-school, big-skilled QB “addressing zero needs”? And you think anyone’s going to miss Coleman and Elam? Sanchez isn’t perfect by a long shot but I remember so-called Giants fans a few years ago saying Eli was “a bust” and you see what happened. You build a team with young players you believe in.

  22. By Tom K on Apr 25, 2009 | Reply

    Mike T gets an A+ on draft day 1!

  23. By Mike Jet Vet on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    To all you fans believing Rex had any say in this trade is living in another galaxy ..Hes the coach he needs as many good players he can get not lose them for unproven ones {HELLO} can’t wait to see another 2-3 year QB project down the tubes well the only enjoyment I will get from this is hearing all the same lame excuses next season by all you who love this move to save face it never changes

  24. By taylor on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    when i think mark sanchez i think those two games on television where he tortured ohio state and penn state

  25. By Luis from Olathe KS on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    I am not the wizard of OZ, but I know we gave a lot for Sanchez, I hope he is worth every penny and every thought, or is going to be a very looooooooooong season…

  26. By Rocketman on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    Mike T is the man. He has a vision. Sanchez makes sense because of Dustin Keller. Keller is the key. The Jets may well go into the next season TE wreaking havoc. Keller’s presence makes Clowney all the more legitimate as a deep threat, and Crotchery remains the workhorse of the receiver corps, with Stuckey in the slot. Expect Keller to lead the Jets in receiving yards.

  27. By Rocketman on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    And Frank is an idiot. What is he talking about? Faneca? Jones? Everyone else is right in their prime. The Jet’s offense is barely removed from a college team. We’re going into this season with Crotchery (what? Three years?), Stuckey and Clowney (a combined 4 years), Keller (two years), Leon Washington (aging a whole four some odd years)? This is a young offense by NFL standards.


  28. By Patrick on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    I’m not happy with this pick,we had Ratliff,Ainge,and Clemons at QB.Losing Ratliff really upsets me.We did’nt need Sanchez..This will be a waste.

  29. By HoBoops on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    Mike Jet Vet is exactly right. This would not have been Ryan’s choice for offense. This is about Woody filling seats at the new stadium. “I love this guy”. Woody, how can you love him, you don’t know him? He has no history. Just 16 games. No arm…another Pennington. Smart..perhaps. So? No arm. We are about 3 Superbowls behind…this is not going to help us catch up….Same Old Jets…Too bad

  30. By wayne on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply


  31. By airmil on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    I need to back peddle a bit. Rex& Tanny seem to realy love this kid. Lots of the “Experts” think he will be great… after listening to him, and seeing him some more on youtube, he might be a “franchise QB” He does have something, that “it”. I liked Ratty, because he flshed brillience, and had tha Montana, Brady calm quality to him, but he was really a project who has proved nothing. Go Jets

  32. By Vincent on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    Good write-up Randy. Mr T made a great move & we all hope (& expect) it works out. The only doubt is Sanchez’s playing time thus far. But the kid’s got talent & they’ve studied him & spoken to him more throughly than the wanna-be GMs on this blog. This is what makes NY a tough market – making everyone happy is impossible. No one knows for sure how he’ll go, but that’s true of EVERY draft choice.

  33. By Ray on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    Ira do you work for the government? Your way of skewing numbers sounds almost Obama like. A first, a second and three guys makes FIVE!! Five players for one, Sanchez. You can use smoke and mirrors all you want. And how’s that 4th round gold looking?

  34. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    Airmil’s got it right, this Ratty stuff has got to stop. He’s “flashed brilliance” in a couple of exhibition games, that’s not too much to write home about. And as I said on another part of the site, anyone who thinks Rex takes this job without getting serious personnel input is wack. The guy’s one of the brightest coaches in the league, he could’ve just waited for another head coach job.

  35. By WILL on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    Hey coach Rex is here to stay great draft and he has made last years playoff team into legitimate contender year in year out for next decade we now can compete with those hated Pats.The draft have a Qb if does not get injured will be a great not just good and rb that is bulldozed so TJ holds out see you later.

  36. By sal on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    Have to agree how can Woody love this guy he only started sixteen college games. One thing was missing from his high light tapes, inclement weather, we don’t even know if he can throw on a cold windy day in the Meadowlands. Jets went into the draft with three on proven QBs, a need at WR and a need at TE. They’re coming out with three unproven QBs, a need at WR and a need at TE.

  37. By 36 year fan on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    O.K., We have got to be patient. Let’s see what Tennenbaum and Rex do next. It feels like the deals aren’t done yet. We’re shoppin’ for the groceries.

  38. By Joel on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    One thing’s for sure. The Jets are going to be boring to watch. They are going to run the ball, they have no TE or WR. It’s going to be run the ball and hope the defense controls the game. They have needed a Burress-type receiver for years and never got it. Dustin Keller can’t block and Baker’s gone so Sanchez will be running for his life on passing downs. Wait and see. PSLs don’t win games

  39. By Row on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    I would have traded the whole draft, all rounds for Boldin. And we STILL would have paid him less. Totally upset as a Jets fan on this one. Really makes me think the owner and Mr. T could care less about winning games. Greene is another dumb move, just to make a statement. We didn’t fill a single hole in this draft. Maybe I don’t know football enough to be a Jets fan. I am sick to my stomach…

  40. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

    Joel, they’re not done, Rex likes the desire of the kind of guys who walk on as FAs. They’re checking out Burress, if that makes you feel better, and Slauson is a great, versatile pick for the OL. Row, I got a friend from Iowa who’s got the leading college football website and you should hear him talk about Greene. And if picking Sanchez ain’t filling a hole, what does that make KC, BR, and EA?

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