The New York Jets made the weekend's biggest splash, trading up for Mark Sanchez
Sometime around 5pm EST this past Saturday, you might have heard a high-pitched, strangled yell outside of your window, no matter where you were located in the continental United States. It was a ghastly sound, one that related years of frustration and agony.
That voice you heard was Kellen Clemens and his reaction to the Jets' trading up to take USC quarterback Mark Sanchez with the fifth pick of the Draft.
Okay, maybe that story is a bit of a fabrication, but it's no exaggeration to say that Mike Tannenbaum is not at all afraid to gamble heavily in an attempt to bring a Super Bowl to New York. He sent the Jets' first and second round picks and three players (Kenyon Coleman, Abram Elam and Brett Ratliff) to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for the rights to Sanchez, the second rated quarterback in this year's draft.
Fans of the team have flooded message boards to express their joy at the move. Many were not sold on Clemens as the starting quarterback and feel that Sanchez has the ability to move the offense in a way that the former Oregon product couldn't.
My own feelings are mixed. I'll be profiling Sanchez next week, highlighting his strengths and weaknesses, as part of a series on the Draft. He certainly has some attractive intangibles and, if the Jets' brass felt that those skills would make him a wiser long-term bet than Clemens, I won't argue.
However, I think there's more to the story than just that.
The subject of Personal Seat Licenses (PSL's) has been a hotly debated topic around these parts. For those who are unfamiliar with the situation, in order to help recoup the monstrous costs of building a new joint stadium with the New York Giants,the Jets have imposed additional fees onto their loyal season ticket holders by making them purchase PSL's to “secure” their spots. This plan has been met with unyielding criticism (as one can well imagine).
My own opinion of the Sanchez move is that owner Woody Johnson felt that the team needed to present something huge to the public in order to justify these fees. Being able to market Sanchez as the newest “savior” would perhaps allow them to gloss over the extra expense the average fan would feel. The statement reads as follows: “Sure, you're paying a little more…but just look at what you're getting!”
There have more than a few whispers around the league that the Jets are more interested in selling tickets than they are in winning football games.
Time will certainly tell, but, as of this moment, I find it difficult to vigorously refute those claims.
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Written by Frank Mazzola