Eagles head coach Chip Kelly told reporters today, including John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com, that he would be open to fielding trade offers for backup quarterback Mark Sanchez. Kelly was responding to a direct question about Sanchez’s trade value, so it’s not as if he broached the topic himself. Nevertheless, it’s uncommon for a team official to openly discuss dealing a player under contract.
“I mean, we’ll listen to anything for anybody,” said Kelly. “We’re not just going to put our head in the sand and say no. It better be a pretty good deal in terms of what it is. But that’s not in any of our thought process.” Kelly also noted that no team has asked about Sanchez’s availability as of yet. “Mark has played well, but we haven’t had anybody call or ask us anything. That’s not something we’re talking about because you’re just spending time on things that could happen, should happen. I don’t know. But I know we’re really happy about him.”
Sanchez, of course, was the fifth overall selection in 2009, and went on to start 62 games for the Jets, leading New York to the AFC Championship game twice. He did not take a snap for the Jets last season after shuffling a shoulder injury. He was released in March, and after presumably failing to land a starting job, signed a one-year, $2.25MM deal with the Eagles. Sanchez has reportedly been impressive during practice sessions, and has completed 18-of-22 passes for 196 and two touchdowns in a pair of preseason games.
It’s just my speculation, but I’m guessing Sanchez would welcome a trade if it meant returning to a starting role. In signing with the Eagles, Sanchez was probably hoping that Kelly’s offensive system, which vaulted the relatively unheralded Nick Foles into the upper echelon of quarterbacks, could do the same for him. It’s likely that Sanchez believed that shining during the preseason or in backup duty would allow him to secure a No. 1 job next offseason. A trade now, after just a summer of work under Kelly, would validate that line of thinking.
For the Eagles, it wouldn’t seem prudent to trade Sanchez at this point. Matt Barkley, a fourth-round pick in 2013 who has shown little in the way of development, would be next in line for the No. 2 QB role. If starter Foles were to suffer an injury, Kelly and Co. would surely rather have the experienced Sanchez under center than the second-year Barkley. However, if a team is impressed with Sanchez to the point of offering draft pick compensation, it could be a worthwhile return on a $2.25MM risk.