Last season, the Philadelphia Eagles‘ biggest breakout player was quarterback Nick Foles. As a second-year starter, Foles recorded the third highest passer rating in a season in NFL history and had an incredible 27 touchdowns to 2 interceptions, a ratio that is only seen in Madden. Now, with Foles as the clear-cut leader and starter for the Eagles next year, Philadelphia couldn’t be more excited about their first full season with him under center. However, after losing backup quarterback Michael Vick via free agency, the Eagles needed to find a solid, backup quarterback to not just help Foles, but also provide some experience and knowledge at the quarterback position.
So, why did the Eagles sign Mark Sanchez?
The former fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Sanchez showed some flashes early in his career to be a franchise quarterback. In five seasons with the New York Jets, Sanchez was one of the most scrutinized players in the NFL. In his first two seasons, thanks to the help of an elite defense, Sanchez led the Jets to two straight AFC Championship Games. However, in his next two seasons, Sanchez almost threw an interception on every pass attempt, and was one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. He became known for the infamous “Butt Fumble,” where he ran into his guard and caused his own fumble, one of the biggest and most embarrassing bloopers in recent years. Last season, Sanchez was lost for the season due to a shoulder injury, and was released this offseason by the Jets, ending his five year tenure with the team.
This past weekend, the Eagles signed the former Jets quarterback to a one year deal, and Sanchez looks to have accepted his role as a backup quarterback.
Despite all the interceptions, fumbles, and all the times he might have been featured on “Sportscenter Not So Top Ten,” Sanchez is not a bad signing for the Eagles. As a backup, Sanchez could provide both experience and knowledge for the game that Foles does not have. Sanchez has been to two championship games, and knows what it’s like to play in the big game. His knowledge and experience in these games could help Foles later on.
Even with all the blunders Sanchez has had, he’s not a bad quarterback. He took a lot of criticism for some of the problems the Jets had. However, when he was playing, there were a lot of problems with the Jets. Many quarterbacks would have had just as much, if not more, turnovers with the offense Sanchez had to work with. They’re almost the same problems Geno Smith has with the Jets offense now. When he was given weapons and targets on offense, Sanchez performed. Without them, he would be throwing interceptions left and right. It was simply just a bad situation Sanchez had to deal with in New York.
In Philadelphia, this really isn’t a bad move for both the team or Sanchez. This gives Sanchez a chance to show he can be a quality second string quarterback, and provides some stability in case there is an injury. So, as long as he’s not throwing interceptions on the field, Sanchez is the right move for the Eagles.