Mike Tannenbaum has a regret from his reign as Jets GM, and it’s a big one.

The recently-fired general manager said Thursday on NFL Network that knowing what he knows now, the Mark Sanchez contract extension he dished out last offseason was a mistake. That error proved costly to Tannenbaum, who lost his job, and to the Jets, who are bound to a QB who might not even start but is clogging up their salary cap.

“I don’t think I would have signed a quarterback to an extension knowing that he’d have 26 turnovers,” Tannenbaum said. “That might be one of the reasons I’m right sitting here with you guys.”

After courting Peyton Manning and coming up short the Jets tried to make it up to Sanchez by giving him a three-year extension in March with $20.5 million in guaranteed money in 2012 and 2013. The extension brought his total compensation to $58.25 million over five years.

The guaranteed money is the killer for the Jets because Gang Green must pay $8.25 million to Sanchez next season, even if he rides the bench. If the Jets cut him, there won’t be any cap savings. This is the bind that Tannenbaum left new GM John Idzik.

Sanchez was ultimately benched for Greg McElroy in Week 16, though he did start the Jets’ season finale in Buffalo after McElroy revealed he had a concussion.

Despite Sanchez’s shortcomings last season, Tannenbaum who was fired the day after the Jets finished their 6-10 season — said he believes that the QB he once traded up for can still be effective.

“But if we’re sitting here a year or two from now, I still think Mark’s going to be a good, credible quarterback in the NFL,” Tannenbaum said.

Tannenbaum believes the same thing about Tim Tebow, another player he famously acquired but whose time with the Jets could be described as a failure.

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