The decision to extend the contract of Mark Sanchez was not made taking the team's long-term future into consideration. In order to open up cap space in the immediate future, the New York Jets signed Sanchez to a five-year deal worth over $58 million—freeing up just over $6 million in cap space this season. Although the new contract may help the team financially right now, Sanchez will not be able to live up to the $48.75 million he will earn from 2013 to 2016.
There are many reasons as to why the quarterback will fail to make sense of the contract through his play, as well as other factors involved. Not all reasons are in Sanchez's hands, but still play a significant role in the expectations that come with the kind of deal he has been given.
The following slides will explain why.