ESPN¬†(Stephen A. Smith)—It’s bad enough that Rex Ryan has failed on his Super Bowl predictions. It’s even worse that Mark Sanchez spent so much time last season proving how ridiculous such guarantees were in the first place. But this latest move by the New York Jets — in which they’ve basically resorted to their same old coddling tendencies, rewarding regression instead of progression — just shows this franchise to be the second-class citizen it truly is. Perhaps Gang Green will be something more tangible, significant, on another day. But on this day, let it be said that the Jets are a joke. When you take the time and effort to reward your quarterback and the leader of, arguably, the NFL’s most dysfunctional franchise with a three-year, $40.5 million extension — knowing the man still had two years remaining on his contract — clearly, you’re looking to be laughed at. Even if this was an exercise to appease Sanchez after the Jets’ supposed pursuit of Peyton Manning.

“[Sanchez] is a young player,” Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum told reporters following the team’s announcement of the extension. “And just like any young player, there’s some inconsistencies that have to get better. We’ve won a lot of football games with Mark as a starting quarterback for the New York Jets. That’s really what convinced Rex, Woody [Johnson] and me. It’s not a projection. It’s not a hope. It’s not an incremental leap of faith. It’s, ‘Here’s a three-year body of work.'”………………..

Honestly, you can’t it say it any better than Stephen A. did right here. The Jets have proven once again that they are a second rate organization. How often do teams reward their players for regressing? How often do teams give $41 million extensions for posting an 8-8 season? Granted, it’s hard as hell to make it to consecutive AFC Championship games, but in a city where Super Bowls clearly set the bar, ‘just making it’ to a championship game, won’t cut it.

In addition, the Jet locker room has been an absolute mess with countless, unnamed Jet players blaming Sanchez and the coaches for the Jets failures. Granted, LaDainian Tomlinson, who is one of the league’s most candidate athletes, reiterated that Sanchez was coddled by the coaching staff. Sanchez, who was the Jets first rounder in 2009, has never competed for his job. The Jets have never brought in a viable backup to put pressure on him.

While our last memories of Sanchez involve throwing an interception against the Dolphins and a public spat with Santonio Holmes, the Jets clearly view him a much more positive light. And if you think the Peyton Manning-to-Jets story didn’t have legs, then you are completely lost. At the end of the day, the Jets were interested in Peyton, but gave $41 million to Sanchez? Give me a break.

Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan, and Tony Sparano have committed five years to Sanchez and have essentially hitched their legacies on Sanchez’s right shoulder. A $41 million extension given to a player who has never really had any internal competition? Give me a break.