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Jets owner Johnson offers some support to Sanchez

Mark Sanchez is still the New York Jets’ quarterback of the future.

Well, at least for now.

Owner Woody Johnson supported his embattled quarterback while meeting with writers who regularly cover the team Thursday for the first time since the Jets finished 8-8 and failed to make the playoffs.

But, he also wouldn’t rule out the possibility of pursuing a veteran such as Peyton Manning if the Indianapolis Colts star became available.

“Our job, and my job for the fans, is to take this team to the very top level, and I’ve said that from the beginning,” Johnson said. “And I have a lot of confidence that we can do it. So, we’re going to look at everything.

“We’re going to look at every possibility, and that’s what you’d want us to do.”

Johnson said “there’s no such thing as 100 percent” when asked if Sanchez would definitely be the starter next season.

“Barring whatever,” he said, “yes.”

Saints hire Spagnuolo

Former St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo agreed to take over as defensive coordinator for the Saints.

Spagnuolo, 52, was head coach in St. Louis the past three seasons and was fired in January after going 10-38 with the Rams. Before that he was defensive coordinator for the New York Giants, a stint that included a Super Bowl upset of the New England Patriots.

Colts continue purge

Two weeks after cleaning out the front office and two days after firing coach Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis announced most of Caldwell’s assistants are out of work, too.

Among the eight assistant coaches let go Thursday were defensive line coach John Teerlinck and his son, Bill; receivers coach Frank Reich; and conditioning coach Jon Torine.

Around the league

The Minnesota Vikings hired Alan Williams, the defensive backs coach for the Indianapolis Colts for the past 10 years, as their new defensive coordinator. … Cincinnati Bengals receiver Jerome Simpson was indicted in Kentucky on for marijuana trafficking. … Eight people who suffered serious injuries in an escalator accident after a New York Giants game four years ago reached a $2 million settlement with the authority that operated the since-demolished Giants Stadium.

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