Top 5 Landing Spots for Mark Sanchez
5 Teams Who Could Sign Mark Sanchez in 2014
Regardless of whether or not he decides to undergo surgery on the torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, quarterback Mark Sanchez has likely thrown his last pass for the New York Jets.
Assuming that’s the case, let’s kick off the speculation regarding where the polarizing passer will land when 2014 NFL Free Agency finally opens.
A four-year starter for the Jets who has shown glimpses of being a capable No. 1 quarterback, Sanchez has been the butt of numerous jokes since taking over under center for the Jets. Known for untimely interceptions, ridiculous inconsistency and his infamous butt-fumble, Sanchez has finally fallen out of favor – a surprising development considering the man-crush that Jets head coach Rex Ryan has on him.
Still, there are plenty of quarterbacks on NFL rosters – especially backups – who can’t match Sanchez in terms of natural quarterback ability. He has a capable arm and makes plays with his feet every once in a while, too. Even if he latches on as a No. 2 instead of a starter, the USC product definitely has the talent to warrant a roster spot somewhere in the NFL.
Although he certainly won’t make anywhere near the amount of money he did with the Jets, Sanchez will be a name worth watching once 2014 free agency rolls around. We’ll see how different quarterback situations around the league play out as the 2013 season progresses, but Sanchez could quickly become a hot commodity if certain pieces fall into place.
With that in mind, here’s a look at five franchises who could benefit from signing Sanchez this upcoming offseason.
San Diego Chargers
Obviously the Chargers have Philip Rivers, but the veteran gunslinger has been on the decline for years and might be facing his final season in San Diego. While Sanchez is far from a long-term answer, he could come in and work as a stop-gap until either the Chargers draft a capable quarterback or rookie Brad Sorensen develops into a starting-caliber passer. And please, don’t bring up Charlie Whitehurst. It’s a stretch, but not completely out of the realm of possibility for Sanchez to return to SoCal.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
All the signs are pointing towards the Josh Freeman era coming to an end this year, which will leave rookie Mike Glennon to take the reins of the Tampa Bay offense. That’s a questionable move, but Greg Schiano knows what he’s doing. Still, adding an experienced player like Sanchez would help ease the youngster into a starting role while giving the Buccaneers a quality backup they can count on – unlike Dan Orlovsky.
If Brandon Weeden’s entire 2013 campaign looks anything like his first outing of the season, he’ll be out of job before the year is over. Behind him, the Browns offer little in terms of quarterback talent. That makes signing Sanchez a reasonable option for Cleveland, who are desperate for some help in the passing game. If anything, it would be interesting to see who would win in a competition between Sanchez and Jason Campbell.
Owners of the second-most ugly quarterback situation in the NFL, the Jaguars would be better off with Sanchez under center than any other passer on their roster. Blaine Gabbert hasn’t done anything to prove he’s a capable NFL quarterback since becoming a first-round pick in 2011, and Chad Henne is nothing more than a veteran backup. The Jaguars could end up drafting a quarterback in 2014, but Sanchez would still bring some sort of quarterbacking ability to the position.
Sorry Raiders fans, but Terrelle Pryor is not the long-term answer at quarterback – didn’t mean to burst your bubble. It’s a near certainty that Oakland will end up with a Top 5 pick next May, which will give the Raiders a perfect opportunity to snag a quarterback of the future. Bringing Sanchez aboard will give them a serviceable backup who can help bring the rookie up to speed. If it comes to it, he could even fill in until the Raiders coaching staff feels that the newcomer is ready to take the reins.