Part of what made the Jets/Pats rivalry so great were the fundamental differences in these teams. Belichick is a quiet behind-the-scenes guy while Rex Ryan loves putting himself front and center. The Pats look for vaue and the Jets look for the biggest names. The Pats underpay as many of their stars as they can(Welker pre-tag, Gronk, Hernandez) and the Jets look to overpay(Holmes, Sanchez). With the Pats if you quit on the team you will be off the team even if you are considered the best talent at your position in the league, With the Jets, you keep your ridiculously-lucrative contract. With the Jets poor play is rewarded with three more years.
The New York Jets headed into this off-season with a locker-room problem. Santonio Holmes had quit on his team. Derrick Mason and Plaxico Burress were with him for much of the 2011 season causing grief from within the receiving-corps, complicating the offense and causing a stench. The media constantly heard from players about other players like Sanchez or the OLine or OC Scottenheimer, A couple bad apples will be gone, but once-Captain Santonio Holmes will still be on the team and will still be overpaid. What good does that do the locker-room? Are we really to believe that Rex Ryan has solved the locker-room problem? If Holmes and Sanchez can't be Captains nobody can? It's bizarre.
But it makes sense, as all along the FO has looked like it can't help itself in coddling its stars. They want stars and big-name guys to make the crazy-ass NY media weak in the knees. Last year they went after Nnamdi Asomugha harder than any other team, openly talking about how great it'd be to play him opposite Darrelle Revis. In the end they had to settle for what they already had; Antonio Cromartie. A good CB but not a big name.
Then the Jets FO takes everyone by surprise. Like any team without an unquestionabily franchise-QB the Jets took a shot at Peyton Manning. They checked it out because It's Peyton frigging Manning. Like with Asomugha they couldn't get him. But unlike with the Cromartie situation, Mark Sanchez wasn't a FA. He wasn't going to be a FA next year either unless he got cut. He was still signed on for two years, so why the heck did the Jets extend that for another three years? Were his feelings hurt that much? Is he sad that the organization won't be naming him a Captain this year?(they're doing away with Captains........)
Since then, Sanchez has come out and said he is without question the leader of the team. Ballsy. He'll lead them right into irrelevancy for the next 5 years unless the Jets decide to bite the bitter pill and cut him. We'll see, but at the rate and trend they're going I don't see this locker-room problem being resolved soon.