The Mark Sanchez era in New York ended not with a bang but with a whimper last week, when the Jets signed former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick to back up second year up-and-comer Geno Smith. Now Sanchez has found a new home — in the one Vick vacated.
Mark Sanchez signed a one year deal with the Eagles Friday, where he will back up third-year signal caller out of Arizona Nick Foles.
While he called Philly the “best fit” for him and praised Foles as an “incredible talent,” Sanchez did not hide the fact that he has his sights squarely set on Foles’ starting job.
“I’m always going to want to start,” Sanchez said in a press conference unveiling him as the newest member of the Eagles. “It doesn’t matter where you are, you want to play. There’s nothing wrong with having that drive. I’ll keep that fire going and try to help this team the best I can.”
By severing ties with Sanchez, the Jets gave themselves $8.3 million in fresh salary cap space to use as the season goes on. The Mark Sanchez deal with Philadelphia pays him a base salary of $2.25 million. That could shoot up to $4 million if he hits certain goals for amount of time spent on the field.
But unless he can exceed all expectations in training camp and swipe the job from Foles, it seems unlikely that Sanchez will see much playing time with the Eagles at all in 2014.
Though his intentions to compete for the starting job were made pretty clear, Sanchez also careful not to ruffle any Eagle feathers as he made his Philadelphia debut.
“Coming in here, I’m not stirring up a controversy,” he demurred. “I’m here to help this team win, whatever that means. I really do respect Foles. I respect what he’s done here, especially last year. He’s a heck of a player, an incredible talent and I’m excited to work with him.”
Mark Sanchez was also deferential to his previous and until Friday, only team in the the NFL, the Jets who picked him out of USC with the fifth overall selection in the 2009 NFL draft.
“I have nothing but good things to say about the New York Jets. That’s all I can remember, are the great things,” said Mark Sanchez. “Was everything perfect? Absolutely not. It’s not going to be perfect here. Everything we’ve accomplished in the past is amazing. All the pictures, I still have all the game balls and things like that. That stuff never goes away. I’m just excited about moving forward. It’s a different chapter, something new. But I’m not going to compare the two.”
Highly regarded out of college, as his high draft slot would indicate, Mark Sanchez has proven frankly, a disappointment in his five NFL seasons in which he has recorded has 68 touchdown passes — but 69 interceptions and 20 lost fumbles. His career passer rating is a mediocre 77.1.