flgreen Posted March 14, 2012 Share Posted March 14, 2012 Owner Woody Johnson says Jets 'passed' on Peyton Manning Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 11:02 PM Updated: Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 11:05 PM By Jenny Vrentas/The Star-Ledger Follow Email Print Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesOwner Woody Johnson expects a "growth spurt" from Mark Sanchez this year. Two days after the Peyton Manning sweepstakes opened last week, the Jets went the other direction, giving quarterback Mark Sanchez a three-year, $40.5 million contract extension. In an interview with Fox Business Network tonight, owner Woody Johnson said the Jets pulled out of the Manning chase and put their trust in Sanchez. “We passed on him," Johnson said of Manning. "We’re signed up with our quarterback. Sanchez is not leaving. We’ve got a pretty good tether, we’ve got five years. We like Mark.” Johnson acknowledged the Jets looked into the possibility of signing Manning, the former Colts MVP quarterback who was released last week, citing due diligence. “We have to," Johnson said of exploring Manning's availability. "Our fans expect us to look at every opportunity. We looked at the body of work of Mark Sanchez and wanted to put our faith in him. We have a new offensive coordinator, Tony Sparano, who loves Mark and the team he has around him.” Johnson called Manning "maybe the best quarterback ever that played the game" and projected that he will sign "wherever he wants." The soon-to-be 36-year-old quarterback missed the entire 2011 season after a reported four neck surgeries, but Johnson believes Manning "may be ageless" and can be "great" in his comeback, so long as he can throw and be comfortable in the pocket. Sanchez is coming off an inconsistent third season lowlighted by 26 turnovers, but the organization had enough faith to guarantee him $20.5 million -- and essentially the starting job -- in 2012 and 2013. Johnson said the Jets "never had to discuss" what Sanchez's future with the Jets would have been if Manning came aboard. "Mark is a very confident guy, but not confident to a fault," Johnson said. "I think he’s going to be an excellent leader. I think we’ll see a so-called growth spurt this year. I think he’ll be very good with Tony’s offense.” Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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