The New York Jets have pushed their chips into the middle of the table, gambling that embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez will rebound from a rough season.
The Jets announced a three-year contract extension for Sanchez on Friday night, and he's now under contract through the 2016 season.
According to a league source, Sanchez will make $40.5 million in new money over the next three years with $20.5 million guaranteed to boost the total package over five years to $58.25 million along with $10 million more obtainable through escalator clauses.
He's now the seventh highest paid quarterback in the league.
"I'm really excited to announce we've reached an agreement in principle on a contract extension with Mark," Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said. "Mark's a guy we identified that we wanted to sign to an extension. It started several weeks ago. Mark's our starter and we're excited about 2012. From my standpoint it's Mark and Rex [Ryan] going into year 4. Talking to Woody [Johnson] about it, we feel really comfortable with those two positions."
Added Sanchez: "To find out that I'm coming back for 3 more years means so much to me. I'm absolutely pleased to be a Jet."
The Jets were expected at one point to contend for Peyton Manning, but he visited the Denver Broncos on Friday and is set to meet with the Arizona Cardinals next with the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs also pursuing him.
"Part of my duties when opportunities come along are that we have to investigate it," Tannenbaum said. "Peyton's a future Hall of Famer, a tremendous person. We looked into it and had internal discussions. But we continued to talk with Mark's representatives all the way through it and about three hours ago we found a landing spot."
The Jets dropped to 8-8 last season as Sanchez passed for 3,474 yards and 26 touchdowns and 18 interceptions for a 78.2 quarterback rating, but drew criticism from teammates and clashed with wide receiver Santonio Holmes as the team didn't make the playoffs following Ryan's bold Super Bowl guarantee.
Since a rocky end to the season, Sanchez and Holmes have been working to repair their relationship.
Sanchez has completed 55.3 percent of his career throws for 9,209 yards, 55 touchdowns and 51 interceptions for a 73.2 quarterback rating.
As for the Jets contemplating going after Manning, Sanchez said: "I understand this is a business. I'm excited the Jets believed in me."
For more coverage of the NFL, go to profootball.scout.com.
Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider