When Mark Sanchez announced his intention to declare for the 2009 NFL Draft, he was heralded by many as a future star at the quarterback position. A scouting report from the time cites his ability to make any throw, as well as "rare anticipation", "good accuracy", and a "cerebral" approach to the quarterback position as indications of future success. His lack of experience was noted as his main flaw coming out, as he had started only one season in college.
Fast forward to 2014, and all the tools that once made Sanchez an enticing prospect are now in question. His arm is adequate, but certainly below average for a starting NFL quarterback. His game awareness is downright awful, as he has become the master of throwing interceptions to defensive linemen and forcing throws into nonexistent windows. Given his lofty contract and the New York Jets' direction in 2014, Sanchez looks like a sure cap casualty, as his departure would save the Jets upwards of 8 million. Considering his awful play in the first four seasons of his career, it was expected that he would have to backup a better quarterback in 2014, or at least battle it out in training camp to start. Apparently not:
One coach of a quarterback-needy team said his team already has discussed Sanchez internally as an option to be its starting quarterback in 2014.
"We'd take Sanchez," the coach said. "He'd be the starter as soon as he walked in the door for us."
-per Brian Costello, via the New York Post
Jets fans' opinion of Mark Sanchez aside, this can only be seen as good news for Gang Green. If there is any demand for the signal caller, General Manager John Idzik should be on the phone as we speak trying to arrange a trade, even if it is for a late-round draft pick. With as many as 12 draft picks in the upcoming draft, yet another pick would be an additional weapon in Idzik's inventory, especially should he choose to trade up to select a receiver like Sammy Watkins.
Given the lack of free agent quarterbacks, Sanchez may actually have some value for a team willing to take the chance. His experience (which was his main flaw coming out of college) is now a definite strength, as the four playoff wins on his resume are impressive accomplishments that only a few active quarterbacks can boast. He was also handled very poorly by the Jets, so another team may think a change of scenery (and more talent at wide receiver) is what he needs to become a productive NFL quarterback. Regardless, it is certainly time for the Jets to move on. If they manage to procure a draft pick in the process, it would just be gravy.