Seriously, that’s how they’re presumably rationalizing things after giving Sanchez a three-year contract extension worth $40.5. The three-year veteran is now on the hook for $58.25 plus about $10 million in escalators over the next five years, according to ESPN.com.

Sanchez’s numbers haven’t improved much over his first three seasons. Combine that with the locker-room shenanigans that had teammates throwing him under the bus in January, and there was a belief that his time as New York’s franchise quarterback was expiring.

But on Friday it became apparent that the Jets were no longer in the sweepstakes to land mega-free agent quarterback Peyton Manning. And just like that, Sanchez was handed a deal that will pay him better than former league MVP Aaron Rodgers on an annual basis.

It’ll be interesting to see if there’s a built-in opportunity for the Jets to opt out of the deal, because there’s no way New York football fans will tolerate Sanchez at his current rate for even a fraction of the next half decade.

One thing’s for certain: on Friday night, the quarterback carousel became a lot less muddled.