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New York Jets: What Career Path Will Mark Sanchez Take?


Where does Mark Sanchez go from here? The quarterback began a collapse in November 2011 that by now has left him arguably the worst quarterback in the league. I think his career could go down a number of different paths at this point with parallels to other quarterbacks who were drafted high and did not pan out as the long-term answer for their first team.

Vinny Testaverde Route

Sanchez's propensity to take too many risks will likely prevent him from ever becoming an elite quarterback. In the right situation, it's possible he could learn to at least minimize the low upside risky throws and maximize the high upside risky throws. Maybe he could become an adequate hired gun for teams that need a starter but cannot get a true franchise guy the way Testaverde did after his career in Tampa Bay.

Byron Leftwich Route

Although Sanchez has shown he does not have the faculties to play the position well on a consistent basis, he still possesses the physical tools which allow him to display flashes of good play. Like Leftwich, it's possible he will show enough at any given stop to get another team to roll the dice on him. Maybe then he can find a good team with a franchise quarterback in place and settle into a role as a long-term backup and have to play sparingly.

Vince Young Route

Sanchez's physical ability and pedigree as a high Draft pick could convince other teams to take a chance on him, thinking they can fix him. However, the lack of growth that has been a staple of his first four years might never change. If he hasn't shown progress in his early years of his career, why would things get better ever? Sanchez could bounce around unsuccessfully to a few other teams before nobody is willing to give him another chance.

Tim Couch Route

Sanchez might be viewed as such damaged goods that he never gets another chance like former number one overall pick Tim Couch. Despite having a great pedigree and being part of a Playoff team in Cleveland, Couch only got limited tryouts and preseason work. He never again was on a roster for a regular season game. The more Sanchez implodes out there and shows terrible body language while doing it, the more likely it is this will be his fate.

I know these players were all different players from Sanchez and had different career circumstances, but Sanchez's career will probably follow one of these outcomes or some variation of one. My money would probably be on the Vince Young route. Somebody might give him another shot, but he's gotten a ton of chances with the Jets and never done anything with them. After that, I would say the likelihood in order would be Couch, Leftwich, Testaverde.