The Jets were clearly back in business today and Mark Sanchez said, “It’s on.”
In his first appearance at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in more than four months, the Green & White’s franchise signalcaller indicated he’s open to rework his contract in order to provide some cap relief while bracing for the possibility that either Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards will walk away in free agency.
Sanchez, who reportedly inked a five-year contract worth more than $44.5 million (including $28 million guaranteed) back in June 2009, is committed to helping his team during this all-important free agency period.
“Whatever it takes,” he said this afternoon, adding of the free agency/trading period ahead, “And that’s Mr. Tannenbaum’s and Mr. Johnson’s and Rex’s — that’s like their third-down conversion. That’s them trying to throw a touchdown pass, that’s them getting a sack. That’s what we do on the field — well, this is what they do in the offseason. I know they’ll position us and acquire the best talent we possibly can with the finances we have.”
Prepared to help the team with its financial bottom line, Sanchez is clearly open to all options.
“But whatever it takes,” he reiterated. “Whether it’s adjusting contracts, delaying payment — whatever we have to do. Our team will do it. I know that and we’ll be unselfish with that, so we’ll get it figured out.”
And Sanchez didn’t stop with himself.
“Whatever we need to do, it’s on. And I think our whole team feels that way,” he said. “Revis, me, whoever. It doesn’t matter, so we’ll do whatever we can.”
While it may not be possible to keep both Holmes and Edwards in green and white, Sanchez realizes it’s highly unlikely. He didn’t wait long to place more responsibility on his shoulders heading into his third season.
“It was such a luxury to have both of them last year and it’s almost unrealistic to have that kind of a receiving corps again,” he said. “But whichever guys we get back, it’s going to be them playing really well and me getting even better — upping my completion percentage, being more accurate, things like that, throwing less interceptions and more touchdowns. That will help us well whether we have Santonio, Braylon and Brad [Smith] or one of the three, two of the three, whatever it is. It’s a matter of both sides getting better.”
Even though Sanchez wasn’t able to work with the Jets’ offensive coaches during the offseason, his growth as a leader was noticeable. He again held a “Jets West” camp out in his native Southern California and he also was one of the ringleaders of “Camp Lockout” back here in New Jersey.
“Physically this offseason is the best I’ve worked out and prepared for a season. I’m in great shape. I feel wonderful, I feel great,” he said. “The mental side, I think that first year having all that time with coaches during my rehab really helped. And this year that lack of it, we’re going to have to squeeze some of that during the first few weeks of camp.”
Winning is on Sanchez’s mind and it is indeed on.
“Whatever it takes to win. If that’s throwing the ball left-handed and that’s going to make us win, fine, I’ll throw the ball left-handed. It doesn’t matter,” he said. “We need to win. We’ll get the right players and we’ll tell them everything we need to tell them that’s true and we’ll move on from there.”
Tags: Braylon Edwards, Mark Sanchez, Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan, Santonio Holmes, Woody Johnson
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