Mark Sanchez isn’t going anywhere… at least for now.
The onetime starting quarterback for the New York Jets has lost the grip on the No. 1 job he once held, but seems to be coming back next year for another shot.
Despite leading the team to two consecutive AFC Championship games in his first two seasons in the league, Sanchez has struggled since then and at the end of 2012 saw his starting job go instead to rookie Greg McElroy.
Though it seemed as if the Jets would cut loose Sanchez in the offseason, a new report said the team plans on keeping him at least through the preseason to compete for the starting job.
It will be quite a competition. The Jets drafted top-ranked quarterback prospect Geno Smith from West Virginia in what seems to be a bid to find a new franchise quarterback.
Keeping Mark Sanchez is more a matter of economics than anything. The team owes him $8.25 million this season whether he is on the roster or not, so they will essentially get a free look at him.
The entirety of the quarterback depth chart for the New York Jets is up in the air. The team now has six quarterbacks on the roster — Sanchez, Smith, McElroy, Tim Tebow, David Garrard, and Matt Simms. Tebow isn’t expected to be part of the equation, likely being cut sometime before the start of training camp.
Despite the muddled quarterback situation, Jets coach Rex Ryan said he’s happy with Sanchez.
“We will be confident at that quarterback position,” Ryan said after the draft. “I don’t think there is any doubt about it. I have confidence in Mark Sanchez. I have confidence in all the guys and that’s just the way it is. That’s the truth. I’ve said it before, we’ve won lots of games with Mark Sanchez at quarterback. In fact, I think our football team, since I’ve been here as a head coach, has actually won more playoff games than the New England Patriots. I’m just throwing that out there. It feels like it gets lost.”
Mark Sanchez appears to be on board with the New York Jets as well. He reportedly hasn’t asked for a trade or release since the team drafted Smith, and he’s ready to go into team activities this summer.