Mark Sanchez Back to the New York Jets Makes Sense


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I know before I even start writing this piece, Jets fans will not take to it very well. I’ve never been one to shy away from a good controversy though, so try to hear me out. This one may raise the hair on the back of your neck, but it may make some sense for the Jets this year.

Mark Sanchez is not a well-loved name when it comes to Jets fans. Once upon a time, the name brought smiles to Jets fans faces. When the Jets traded up in the 2009 NFL draft with the Cleveland Browns to acquire Sanchez, the move was met with mostly cries of joy around the Jets franchise. The Jets were aggressive and had finally found their “franchise” QB.

We all know how the rest turned out. Two consecutive AFC Championship games in 2009 and 2010, and then the decline. Jets fans now know him more for the infamous “butt fumble” than for anything else. So, why would I say it might make sense for the Jets to look at the possibility of resigning him. Let’s take a look.

Next: Short Term Answer and Cost

Nov 16, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez (3) throw a pass in the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

While Mark Sanchez will definitely not be viewed as anyone’s “Franchise QB” again, at 28 yrs old he still possesses talent. You can debate how much talent Sanchez possesses until nausea sets in, but the fact remains, he’s survived five NFL seasons.

Sanchez makes sense in my opinion because the Jets are looking for a short-term answer at QB. As I see it, the Jets will likely pass on the top two QB’s this year and then draft a developmental type later in the draft. Free Agency holds very little in the form of a future QB for the team. The Jets are in desperate need for competition at the QB position in a year that offers very little in the form of competition.

Step In Mark Sanchez. Try to suppress the snickers here just for a minute, and set aside the prejudices you may have. Sanchez makes sense. He’s 28 years old now, played fairly well for the Eagles last season, can bring veteran experience, and can over a level of competition. At 28, nobody is going to be offering Sanchez long-term lucrative deals at this point in his career either.

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Just two years ago, we were looking at a Mark Sanchez vs. Geno Smith competition in camp. Both QB’s had their respective fans rooting for them through camp. We never really got to see who won that competition due to an injury to Sanchez in the 4th quarter of a meaningless preseason game. Some have claimed Sanchez had one the job prior to the injury.  The Jets were forced to start Geno Smith, and the rest is history.

Much has been written about Chan Gailey’s  history of getting the most out of his QB’s regardless of prior success. He’s most noted for his success with Miami and QB Jay Fielder. Under Gailey, Fielder was able to manage a 60% passing completion rate and threw for 3,290 yards. Gailey is also credited with providing the right atmosphere for QB’s Mike Tomczak, Kordell Stewart and Tyler Thigpen achieve some level of success.

Next: Final Analysis

Mark Sanchez makes sense to me. I’ve never been a fan of Sanchez, as my readers will recall. I protested when the Jets drafted him, my thinking was there was just not enough to judge him by to make such a move up the boards. I criticized him as a starter for most of his career as well. I’m not proposing the Jets bring him back to save the franchise, or to hand him the starting role either. I’m simply saying it might make sense to consider him now, in a much different role.

My take is rather simple really. The Jets have Geno Smith in place, he’s not going anywhere, and the Jets have to provide him some competition for the job. They will also be looking to draft a developmental project, a QB who will need to sit the bench and learn for a year or two. The rookie can not be seen as adequate competition for Smith however. The Jets must bring in a veteran QB.

Mark Sanchez fits the bill for the Jets if you think about it. He will come rather cheaply and can be signed short-term, let’s say for two years at $5 million. The contract holds no guaranteed money, but offers incentives for winning the job and keeping it. Sanchez bring veteran experience, five years in the pros and a familiarity with the Jets organization.

Sanchez also gets to work with Chan Gailey. If Gailey can get the most out of Mike Tomczak and Jay Fiedler, surely he can get something out of a Smith/Sanchez competition! I say let’s give Sanchez another crack with the Jets under Gailey. Let’s finish that competition that went unresolved two years ago.

All the Jets need is adequate QB play for 2015 to be competitive. They are looking to bring in a veteran to challenge Smith at a reasonable price. Hopefully for the Jets, there will be a better QB market next year, or their developmental QB can step up and claim the job. As I see it, the Jets are just trying to get by 2015 at QB. Sanchez might provide that along with Smith.

I know it may sound crazy, but there are my thoughts on a reunion with Mark Sanchez. When viewing Sanchez as a free agent, Mike Maccagnan isn’t going to consider the fan base’s preferences. He’ll be viewing him like any other player. Would he consider Sanchez for the Jets? Time will tell. Let’s talk Jets football!

Next: Post Combine and Free Agency Notes