Now that the NYJ's flirtation with Manning didn't work out, Sanchez refuted some of his teammates' criticisms. (US Presswire)

Before the Jets began flirting with Peyton Manning and before they tried to rectify it by giving Mark Sanchez a three-year $40 million contract extension (which wasn’t exactly as large as we previously thought), one or more of his teammates verbally ripped him to shreds.

He/they called him lazy. Called him a baby. And said that he wasn’t cut out to win in New York. All of it was anonymous.

“We have to bring in another quarterback that will make him work at practice,” one player told the New York Daily News. "He’s lazy and content because he knows he’s not going to be benched." Another said, “[The Jets] don’t want to be truthful with him. They treat him like a baby instead of a man. He goes in a hole when someone tells him the truth."

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Center Nick Mangold immediately jumped to Sanchez’s defense, and now, Sanchez has spoken out on his anonymous critics as well.

“It is a gutless thing to do,” Sanchez told ESPN 1050, via the Daily News, on Thursday. “You don’t put your name on what you’re saying, then you don’t speak for yourself. You don’t speak for the team. That’s how I always felt about that. If I ever had an opinion on a player -- or something that I wanted to talk to them about -- I would just tell them… I don’t think (being anonymous) is the professional way to do it.”

He also said he believes his teammates respect his leadership abilities -- Mangold likely would agree -- but Sanchez also said he probably won’t bring up the issues he was discussing on the radio when the team begins working out in the offseason.

Sanchez also talked about his newfound love for receiver Santonio Holmes, saying he recently flew to Orlando to spend a few days with Holmes (and apparently work out their differences).

“We met up and had a good time,” Sanchez said. “It was a productive meeting. That’s the most important thing. That’s all I cared about … I know it can work between us. It’s not a question of ‘if.’ It’s a matter of ‘when.’ And that’s now.”

But Sanchez also indirectly addressed Mike Tolbert’s recent comments when he said he wouldn’t sign a contract with the Jets because “that whole media circus thing [is] going on.”

“From an outside perspective, I’m sure it did look a little hectic here,” Sanchez said. “That’s what happens when guys are outspoken about some of the negative things that go on in our organization… I think anybody coming here would love it.”

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