Quarterback Mark Sanchez, whose decade-long NFL career was marked by the highs of a couple of early playoff runs and the low of the nationally televised “butt fumble,” has announced his retirement from the NFL.
Per The New York Post, the 32-year-old Sanchez is stepping away from his playing career in order to accept a job as a college football analyst for ABC and ESPN. Sanchez will work in the studio as part of the networks’ top analyst team, along with Kevin Negandhi and Jon Vilma. Mack Brown was also part of the team last year but left to return to coaching.
Sanchez, after a standout college career at USC, was the fifth overall pick by the New York Jets in the 2009 NFL Draft. He got off to a good start in his career, leading the Jets to the AFC Championship Game in his second and third seasons under coach Rex Ryan.
But Sanchez’s success wasn’t sustained, as the team fell out of contention and he ceased to be a top player. This culminated in the incident forever known as the “butt fumble,” when Sanchez, during a nationally-televised Thanksgiving night game in 2012, slipped and ran directly into the backside of one of his own teammates, leading to a turnover as part of a bad loss to rival New England Patriots.
The “butt fumble” became a viral video like few things in the history of the NFL. And while Sanchez lasted another season in New York, the Jets released him in March of 2014.
After leaving the Jets, Sanchez played for two years as a backup for the Philadelphia Eagles, and later had brief stints with the Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins. Sanchez’s two games with Washington last season, coming after the team’s quarterbacking corps was decimated by injuries, were the last appearances of his career.
Sanchez finishes his career with a winning record (4-2) in the postseason.
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) July 23, 2019
The ex-quarterback also auditioned for a job with Fox, but they did not have a spot for him, The Post said.
Sanchez joins several other quarterbacks of recent vintage who are now broadcasters. Tony Romo famously retired and immediately joined the CBS NFL booth to rave reviews. Jay Cutler took a job with Fox and then gave it up to return to the NFL two years ago. And even Ryan Leaf, the disgraced former second pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, joined the ESPN college football booth this year, per The Inquisitr.