Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum gave some cryptic answers regarding Mark Sanchez's future with New York.
Tannenbaum told ESPN Radio that the team will consider upgrading at quarterback.
I expect Mark Sanchez to be our quarterback next year, but when we have opportunities to improve our team that's what we're going to do.
The GM was asked about the possibility of looking to sign Peyton Manning if he becomes a free agent. Tannenbaum did not deny that the Jets would be interested in signing the veteran if he is released by the March 8 deadline.
It's really important that we always try to improve the team.
Tannenbaum is showing less confidence in his quarterback than he did right after the Jets season ended. At the final press conference of the season, the GM said New York would look at the quarterback position as a whole, but as far as the starter, it's Mark.
A vote of confidence from Tannenbaum and the Jets may have to be taken with a grain of salt.
When the Jets missed the playoffs, there were many reports that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer would not return with New York in 2012. Less than 10 days later, the Jets announced that Tony Sparano would replace Schottenheimer.
Schottenheimer released a statement saying it was his decision not to return, but reports say New York told the coach they did not want him back.
The Jets have had plenty of chances to distance themselves from Peyton Manning, yet neither Mike Tannenbaum nor Rex Ryan has explicitly said they are not interested in the future Hall of Famer.
The biggest question may not be if the Jets would like to sign Manning--it seems fairly obvious that New York will at least consider bringing in the quarterback--but rather, would Manning consider playing for the Jets.
New York had a lot of issues in the locker room in 2011, and Manning might not want to be a part of that atmosphere.
If released, Manning will have his choice of warm weather cities to choose from, most notably, Miami. It remains to be seen whether or not he would agree to sign with a team in a cold weather city after spending most of his career playing in a dome.
Even if the Jets don't sign Manning, Mark Sanchez could have some competition for his job.
We don't need to bring in another guy to make Mark Sanchez great. Mark Sanchez wants to be great because that's who he is, said Tannenbaum. With that said, we're looking at that position very carefully and I wouldn't be surprised if at the end of the day, by September, that position group as a whole looks a little bit different than it did at the end of the 2011 season.