- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The contract numbers say Mark Sanchez will be back in 2013. There's that $8.25 million guarantee that everybody in the world seems to know about, and there are severe cap ramifications if they release or trade him.
Here's a prediction: He won't be back. I don't think the Jets will want him back. Heck, he may not even want to come back.
It doesn't make economic sense to part ways with Sanchez, but it makes football sense. On Wednesday, I got the distinct impression the organization, which fell in love with Sanchez four years ago, is willing to move on. The Jets will explore all possibilities with Sanchez, a league source said, and one of those options is trading him.
Of course, this is based on the assumption that the current brain trust will remain in power. If it does, it will be faced with a playoffs-or-bust challenge next season and it won't entrust that charge to a quarterback coming off a 24-turnover season.
They have to bring in a starting-caliber quarterback, and it would be too messy with the new guy and Sanchez -- not to mention too costly.
Sanchez's cap figure for 2013 is $12.8 million; that's if he's on the team. If they trade him, it'll end up being around the same amount, counting the large chunk of the guaranteed money they'll end up having to pay. We know no team in its right mind would take on the entire $8.25 million.
Whether he's gone or whether he's here, carrying the clipboard, it's essentially the same amount of "dead" money. I say he's gone.