When Sanchez restructured his contract last year to provide cap relief to the team, the new contract language effectively tied the struggling passer to New York through next season. Sanchez would have to be paid $8.25 million within 30 days of his release, and if released would count about $17 million against the cap for a team already projected to be about $20 million over the cap. There are no offsets in the deal that would reduce that financial commitment or the cap hit, and there is no financial motivation for Sanchez to alter the contract in a way that would facilitate a trade or his release. If he is released he could pocket his Jets money and enhance his bank account via a new contract with another team. Additionally, New York's cap situation makes it difficult for the team to be positioned to sign any sort of impact quarterback in 2013.
As for Tebow, if Jets owner Woody Johnson wants to keep him, he can -- Tebow's salary and cap number are not cost-prohibitive. But Jacksonville would be the only possible trade partner NFL execs I spoke to saw as a viable option, and even then, there would not be much motivation for the Jaguars to trade for a little-used player who is likely to be released otherwise. Several NFL executives who have analyzed the Sanchez situation have reached the same conclusion about his likelihood of staying in New York in 2013. Sources close to Sanchez have also conceded as much, understanding the realities of his deal and the lack of interest teams would have in trading for a high-priced quarterback with 13 TDs, 17 INTs, and a 67.9 passer rating in 2012.