Oakland Raiders Rumors: Could Mark Sanchez Be The New Face of the Franchise?

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Now that the farce that was Super Bowl XLVIII is in the books, the NFL‘s attention can turn to heavy speculation about the draft as well as the free agent feeding frenzy that will begin in a few weeks. And the Oakland Raiders have a lot of questions to answer and a lot of holes to fill. Some fans feel there is no more pressing question than the quarterback position. While some are undoubtedly hoping that the team will land either Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel or by some magnificent stroke of fortune Louisville‘s Teddy Bridgewater, there are others in the Raider Nation who still believe that either Terrelle Pryor or Matt McGloin should get a shot to lead the way. But a rumor is emerging that might throw a wrench into everybody’s plans and that rumor has a name — Mark Sanchez.

Paul Guiterrez, the Raiders’ insider for Comcast SportsNet in San Francisco, is floating the idea that the New York Jets, not wanting to pay Sanchez’s $2 million roster bonus that comes due in early March, will release the much maligned quarterback and that he will find a landing spot in the Bay Area. It’s a rumor and should absolutely be taken with a grain of salt, but with his connections to the team and “insider” status, is it possible that he’s heard something that we haven’t? Possibly. Guiterrez also goes on to suggest that Josh Freeman could be in the quarterback mix as well. In a recent reply to a reader, he Tweeted:

 “Using the Trent Edwards signing as a frame of reference, I see them looking at a game-manager-type, a QB that has mileage but not too much wear on the tread. Guys like Edwards or Josh McCown or Matt Cassel. I’ve already advocated scooping up Mark Sanchez if and when he’s cut loose by the New York Jets.”

Freeman makes a certain amount of sense. When Greg Olson was the OC with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Freeman had a few pretty decent seasons. 2010 was his peak year when he connected on 61.4 percent of his passes for nearly 3,500 yards to go with 25 touchdowns against just six interceptions. Freeman might have some upside or at the very least provide for a very competitive camp battle with McGloin and Pryor for the starting job.

Sanchez’s best year was also in 2010, but he has steadily regressed since then, throwing 18 interceptions in consecutive seasons and leading the Jets in a downward spiral from 8-8 in 2011 to 6-10 in 2012. He’s got a career completion rate hovering around 55 percent and has thrown 68 touchdowns against 69 interceptions. He also has a bad history of not being able to hold on to the ball, coughing it up 43 times over his career. He hasn’t shown the ability to be a “game manager type” as Guiterrez suggests the Raiders are looking for, and he has a very clear history of bad decision-making on the field. And all that is without even mentioning the infamous butt-fumble.

Freeman could be an interesting pickup. He could be the sort of low risk/high reward gamble the Raiders could conceivably take. Sanchez would likely be an unmitigated disaster. Yes, he led the Jets to back to back AFC title games. But that was in his first two seasons, and he hasn’t shown that he can be the sort of field general the Raiders need since then. If the Raiders are actually interested in Sanchez, they need to shake themselves and realize that even McGloin is a better option than that.

The idea that Sanchez could wind up wearing the Silver and Black should send a collective shudder throughout the Raider Nation. And though they can’t agree on much these days, the Raider faithful should at least be able to unify and rally around the belief that bringing Sanchez in as the starting quarterback is a really, really dreadful idea.

Kevin Saito is a fiction writer, sports junkie, history nerd and NFL Contributor. He’s just a “clown with an opinion” and you can follow him on Twitter, Facebook or on Google


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  • Raider Grant

    There are a lot of if’s, and’s & BUTT’s going on in Oakland. Mark Sanchez beware!

    • saito8204

      What do you think? Think he’d be a good fit in Oakland? Or would he be as big of a bust as he is in New York?

      • Raider Grant

        I wouldn’t want him in Oakland. Raiders require serious talent & unity on the offensive line. So I say use QB’s we have & rebuild else where. Might as well get our line in place, and wait to draft franchise QB(Marcus Mariota)

        • Trevor

          Not Brett Hundley?! Rumor had it RM put the word out if he declared he was gone #5 overall…

        • saito8204

          I’m with you in not wanting Sanchez with the team. The lines must be rebuilt and some big holes in the defense need to be filled as well. There are better QB options out there.

  • Trevor

    I agree Freeman is a much better answer. Sure, he has struggled lately but the situation in TB UNDER shaino was a DISASTER and he was completely mishandled again in Min. Freeman played the part of a “game manager”/mid-tier QB well under Olsen. If we could get a decent oline and running game he could be what most thought he’d develop onto after the ’10 season.

    • saito8204

      While I’m not completely sold on Freeman as the answer, he’d be a lot better than Sanchez. Perhaps teaming him up with Olsen again will yield good results, assuming they bring him in. That said, Freeman would be WAY better than Sanchez under center.

      • Trevor

        Oh absolutely. Freeman is a risk but a relatively low one to take. Bring him in, if he doesn’t give you 110% cut him. I honestly hope if we can’t pull off a miracle and get Teddy… we trade down and accumulate some quality picks. This is a very Talent deep draft . second and third rounds are stacked. If we can get a couple more picks in those rounds we could finally start building depth with quality players.

        • saito8204

          Absolutely agree with all points. Freeman is exactly the sort of low risk/high reward gamble they should take. Personally, I still back giving McGloin a shot but Freeman could be a very good stopgap measure as well. At the very least, he would provide a good camp battle. And you’re very right about needing to accumulate quality picks. We have to have a lot of good, young, hungry players to build this franchise back up again. If only Reggie McKenzie would listen to us. :-)

          • Trevor

            Hah! No doubt… I’ll gladly accept a consultant position, if ur reading RM ;) HAHAHA! I hear ya with McCloin… I honestly think TP has potential too. Outside of Teddy, I’d rather us roll with what we got and bring in a solid vet qb (Shaun, Freeman, etc) to compete. Trade down , stockpile some talent FINALLY, and if need be go after our franchise QB next year. There is some SOLID QBs available next year. In my humble opinion much better than this years. Maybe its not fair but Bortles reminds me WAAYYY too much of Blane Gabbert.

  • Donna South Hall

    Excellent article and well reasoned with one tiny exception, the Super Bowl was no farce, it was the most awesome SB EVER! :-)