New York Jets Salary Cap Page

Mark Sanchez' Contract and Future Possibilities

Since its clearly a topic of conversation….

Mark Sanchez has a gigantic cap hit if he was to be cut next season. Because of the crazy extension the Jets gave him the dead cap from prorated money in his contract is $8,903,125. The Jets further compounded that by guaranteeing him $8.25 million in salary. In the event that he is released that amount will immediately accelerate onto the cap. Because there are no offsets for that salary the Jets can not obtain credits if Sanchez signs with another team meaning releasing him would cost the Jets $17,153,125 in cap charges, a net loss of $4.3 million in cap room, clearly a move the Jets can not make.

It is hard to picture a scenario in which Sanchez is back with the Jets after this move so in my mind they have two options to move him:

A. Find a trade partner willing to give up a conditional late round draft choice. I cant see anyone in the NFL willing to pay $8.25 million for Sanchez but if you can find someone willing to spend $4.3 million for him you can break even on the cap. What you would do in this case is pay Sanchez a $3.95 million dollar bonus before the trade is sent to the league office. The trading team picks up the balance of the $4.3 million dollar guarantee. The cap hit for the Jets would equal $12,853,125, exactly the cost of keeping him on the roster next season, leaving the team with a net zero cap effect. While it might seem crazy Sanchez does have some pedigree and I think a team like the Steelers, who need a quality backup, or Cardinals, who need a starter, could bite.

B. Designate Sanchez a June 1 cut. This doesn’t help you with cap room until June 1st but it keeps you from losing cap room by the outright release of the player. If you designate Sanchez a June 1 cut you will retain his $12.85 million cap charge until June 1st rather than taking on the $17.15 million charge. Once June 1 hits his cap charge will reduce to $12.353 million and you will take the $4.8 million balance as a charge in 2014.

I would think those are the only options the Jets can handle. The third option is to keep him on the team, but I find that hard to see as beneficial to any party involved. In this case you have to determine what Sanchez is worth on the open markets ($1-2 million), make that his base salary and prorate the remaining amount. For example you would pay him a $1 million dollar salary and convert the $8.25 million guarantee to a signing bonus. That reduces his cap charge to $7,165,625, a savings of about $5.68 million for 2013. The big negative of that is that his dead cap is increased from $4.8 million in 2014 to $10,987,500. You may end up paying cap for him from 2013-2015 under this scenario plus using a roster spot on him in 2013. Im not sure if that is a smart move.

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