Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez Retires From NFL

Mark Sanchez is trading in his helmet for a headset. The former Jets, Cowboys, and Redskins quarterback will retire from the NFL to become a college football analyst for ABC and ESPN, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post

Sanchez, 32, spent ten years in the NFL. His most notable run at quarterback came with the Jets, where he began his career with back-to-back AFC Championship Games under Rex Ryan. Ryan was especially fond of Sanchez and even got a tattoo of his wife wearing Sanchez’s No. 6 jersey.

Sanchez may be best remembered these days for the “butt fumble,” but his early accomplishments should not be discounted. The former No. 5 overall pick was a quality young leader for those early Jets teams and enjoyed a multi-year run as a New York media darling.

Now, the USC product will relive his other glory days in the broadcast booth. We here at PFR wish Sanchez the best in retirement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Josh Johnson Will Start For Redskins Moving Forward

The Redskins are making a quarterback change. The Mark Sanchez-era is over just after it got started, as the team will start Josh Johnson moving forward, coach Jay Gruden announced after the game (link via Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk).

Sanchez played awfully and put up zero points by the time he was benched, tossing two interceptions. Johnson came into the game and immediately provided a spark, leading two scoring drives and putting 16 points on the board to make the loss slightly less lopsided. Redskins players immediately responded to and rallied around Johnson, so the permanent switch to him isn’t a surprise.

Incredibly, Johnson hadn’t thrown a regular season pass since 2011 when he was suddenly thrust into the game. Johnson was only signed off the street less than two weeks ago after Colt McCoy‘s season ending injury, so his play was impressive. Johnson, who had been all set to join the San Diego Fleet of the upstart AAF league before getting the call from the Redskins, completed 11 of 16 passes for 195 yards, one touchdown and an interception, good for 12.2 yards per attempt.

Sanchez was six of 14 for 38 yards and two interceptions, including a pick-six, before exiting. He also struggled mightily last week when he came on in relief of McCoy on Monday Night Football. The Redskins’ season is quickly circling the drain after a surprising 6-3 start as they’ve been crippled by injuries. While still technically alive in the NFC East race, their playoff hopes have rapidly diminished, but perhaps inserting Johnson into the lineup can create some momentum and help them finish strong.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colt McCoy Out For Season

The Redskins are now going to be without their top two quarterbacks the rest of the way. Colt McCoy suffered a fractured fibula and will miss the rest of the season, ESPN’s Lisa Salters reports.

McCoy went down in the first half, and X-rays revealed the fracture. Signed last month after Alex Smith‘s leg breaks, Mark Sanchez is now the pilot for the 6-5 Redskins.

Washington entered Week 13 with only McCoy and Sanchez on its 53-man roster. No quarterback resides on Washington’s practice squad. But Sanchez will soon be joined by a to-be-determined player.

Prior to signing Sanchez, the Redskins auditioned both E.J. Manuel and T.J. Yates. Kellen Clemens and now-AAF-affiliated Josh Johnson also received workouts. There’s a good chance one of these players will be on Washington’s roster soon. Colin Kaepernick is obviously unaffiliated and remains interested in playing, but given the events of the past two years, it’s unlikely the Redskins will go this route.

This is brutal news for McCoy, who had a chance to steer a team to the playoffs following Smith’s injury. He is signed through 2019 and is attached to a $3MM base salary next season. McCoy started two games for Washington, finishing 24 of 38 for 268 yards, two touchdown passes and three interceptions on Thanksgiving. Previously sitting behind Kirk Cousins for three seasons, McCoy entered this season having not started a game since 2014. He’d started in 21 Browns games from 2010-11.

Washington entered play tonight in the thick of the NFC East and wild-card races. With Sanchez (no starts since working with the 2015 Eagles’ first-stringers twice), their path becomes more difficult.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins To Sign QB Mark Sanchez

The Redskins have agreed to sign free agent quarterback Mark Sanchez, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Sanchez worked out alongside a number of QBs on Monday and apparently made the strongest impression on team brass. 

Its been roughly a decade since Sanchez entered the league as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 draft and secured a five-year deal worth up to $60MM from the Jets. Lauded as a strong leader and a quality game manager, Sanchez was under center for back-to-back AFC Championship game appearances in his first two NFL seasons.

Since then, however, Sanchez’s career has been in decline. He has not attempted an NFL pass since his 2016 season with the Cowboys and he spent the 2017 season as a benchwarmer for the Bears. This past spring, he was hit with a four-game ban for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Unfortunately, Sanchez’s success in New York is a distant memory and the 32-year-old is remembered more for the infamous buttfumble than anything else at this point.

The Redskins’ quarterback plans were turned upside down this week when starter Alex Smith suffered a broken tibia and fibia. Sanchez will now serve as the one and only backup to Colt McCoy, who just attempted his first throw since 2015.

Sanchez has some ties to the Redskins’ coaching staff and that familiarity likely played a role in the signing. Redskins offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh was the Jets’ quarterbacks coach from 2009-12, offensive line coach Bill Callahan was the Jets’ assistant head coach and offensive line coach from ’08-’11, and Redskins QB coach Kevin O’Connell was teammates with “San-chise” for a bit in New York.

E.J. Manuel, T.J. Yates, Kellen Clemens, and Josh Johnson also participated in the Redskins’ workout on Monday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins To Work Out Mark Sanchez, Others

The Redskins are bringing in a group of quarterbacks to work out on Monday, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Mark Sanchez, E.J. Manuel, and T.J. Yates will show their stuff for Washington as they seek a new backup quarterback for new starting QB Colt McCoy. Kellen Clemens and Josh Johnson will also get a workout, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets.

McCoy was thrust into the starting lineup when Smith suffered a broken tibia and fibia. This trio of prospective QBs is not the most exciting bunch, but the Redskins are hoping that none of the three veterans will have to see action.

McCoy has not attempted a pass since 2015, but he is considered one of the NFL’s better No. 2 signal callers. In recent years, the team has flirted with the idea of starting him, so they clearly have confidence in his ability.

On the plus side, all four veterans offer NFL experience. By the end of business on Monday, one of them will take a step closer to seeing live action.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

This Date In Transactions History: Mark Sanchez

Nine years ago today, the Jets agreed to terms on the biggest rookie deal in the history of the franchise. They committed $50MM over five years with $28MM guaranteed to the quarterback they thought was going to be their signal caller for many years to come.

When the Jets traded up with the Browns to secure the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft and take Mark Sanchez, they thought they had found the franchise quarterback they had spent many years looking for. After just one season as the starter at USC, Sanchez declared early for the NFL draft. Sanchez’s deal with the Jets came during one of the last years where rookie contracts were still negotiable before everything switched to pre-arranged slot values. The contract was reportedly worth up to $60MM with incentives and was a bit unusual in that it was only for five years instead of six, which was the norm at the time for top picks.

The Sanchez era was a tumultuous one in New York, full of ups and downs. He started right away as a rookie and would go on to start all but two games for the Jets over the next four seasons. Despite mediocre to poor individual stats, the Jets made back-to-back AFC championship games in 2009 and 2010 with Sanchez under center. Sanchez enjoyed the best season of his career statistically in 2011, throwing for 3,474 yards and 26 touchdowns with 18 interceptions. Although the Jets missed the playoffs, the team rewarded Sanchez with a three year contract extension after the season.

After a down 2012 where Sanchez was at one point benched as he threw just 13 touchdowns and 18 interceptions, he would miss the entire 2013 season due to a shoulder injury. He wound up never playing another game for the Jets, as he was released after the 2013 season.

He did play out the entire five years of his rookie contract with the team, but Sanchez never played a year of the extension he signed after the 2011 season despite the Jets giving him an additional $20.5MM guaranteed. Sanchez has bounced around the league since his release, spending time with the Eagles, Broncos, and Bears. Although his tenure didn’t go as well as many hoped and expected, Sanchez was still the face of the franchise for almost five years, and June 10th will always be a significant date in Jets history.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mark Sanchez Facing Four-Game Suspension

Mark Sanchez is not currently on an NFL roster, but if he lands with a team for what would be a 10th season, he won’t be eligible to play for a bit.

Barring a successful appeal, the free agent quarterback will be suspended four games, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). NFL.com’s James Palmer adds (via Twitter) this was for a violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

The 31-year-old passer released a statement (via Instagram) about being “blindsided” by the news.

During the past 9 years as an NFL player I have been subject to 73 drug tests — an average of over 8 tests per season — and all but one have been clean,” Sanchez said. “I have taken the same regimen of supplements for the past five years without any issues. The timing and results of my tests establish circumstances of unknowing supplement contamination, not the use of performance enhancing substances.”

Sanchez has been connected to the Bears and Seahawks’ reserve-quarterback vacancies at different points this offseason. However, the Bears signed Chase Daniel. The Seahawks’ Stephen Morris addition likely still leaves them in need of a veteran backup, but this news will not help Sanchez’s cause. He spent the 2017 season in Chicago but didn’t attempt a pass in a game. Sanchez played for the Cowboys in 2016 after failing to beat out Trevor Siemian for the Broncos’ starting job that summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Bucs, Hargreaves, Seahawks

A video of Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves smoking a cigarette containing an unknown substance surfaced on Instagram this week, as Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times details. Hargreaves, a University of Florida product, has struggled in the first two years of his young career. Last year, the Bucs tried employing Hargreaves as their nickel cornerback before a hamstring injury ended his season after nine games.

The video alone is unlikely to get Hargreaves into trouble with the law or the NFL, but a positive test for a banned substance such as marijuana would violate the league’s substance abuse policy. All in all, it’s simply not a good look for a player who has failed to make good on his first-round status.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • At the owners’ meetings, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link) heard Mark Sanchez‘s name “as a possibility” for the Seahawks. Someone like Sanchez could serve as a veteran backup to Russell Wilson now that Trevone Boykin is out of the picture.
  • The “Josh McDaniels rule” which would have allowed assistant coaches to sign on as head coaches elsewhere during the playoffs did not pass at this week’s owners’ meetings. Surprisingly, Colts GM Chris Ballard was not among those in support of the rule. “When you’re a playoff team, you’re trying to eliminate all the distractions that you can. And we’re going to be a playoff team and we’re going to have these issues,” Ballard said (via Stephen Holder of the Indy Star). “It becomes a slippery slope. We have rules in place for a reason. I think they’re good rules. It gives you a chance to interview and then, after the season, whatever happens, happens. In our case, he changed his mind and we moved on.”
  • New Broncos defender Su’a Cravens has the ability to play both safety and linebacker, but the team views him strictly as a safety, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Broncos acquired Cravens from Washington on Wednesday in a deal that will net the Redskins a fifth-round pick plus upgraded picks in the fourth and fifth round and a conditional sixth-round choice in 2020.

Free Agent Rumors: Landry, Hitchens, Bills

The Dolphins are attempting to trade wide receiver Jarvis Landry after assigning him the franchise tag last week, but the club probably shouldn’t expect a first-round pick for their slot receiver, as Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes. Instead, fair compensation is likely to be a third-round pick, a low second-rounder, or perhaps a player, multiple sources tell Salguero. Landry can be an effective weapon, but any team that acquires him is either committing to carrying his $16MM+ salary in 2018, or inking him to a new deal, so Miami isn’t likely to get blown away in terms of trade offers. The Dolphins were expected to meet with Landry’s representatives at the combine on Wednesday, so a resolution could be coming soon.

Here’s more on 2018 free agency:

  • Cowboys free agent linebacker Anthony Hitchens is seeking $10MM per year on the open market, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. Dallas ranks in the bottom-third of the league in available cap space, so that price point could force Hitchens out of the club’s range. Indeed, multiple beat writers don’t believe Hitchens will re-sign with the Cowboys, while the Colts — who now employ former Dallas linebackers coach Matt Eberflus — are expected to pursue the 25-year-old. A fourth-round pick out of Iowa in 2014, Hitchens appeared in 12 games a season ago and registered 55 tackles.
  • Although the Bills inked veteran defensive back Vontae Davis to a one-year deal earlier this week, they’re not giving up hope of re-signing free agent cornerback E.J. Gaines, general manager Brandon Beane told reporters, including Joe Buscaglia of WKBW (Twitter link). Buffalo acquired Gaines in 2017 as part of the return for wideout Sammy Watkins, and the 26-year-old went on to start 11 games, ranking 11th in the league in yards per pass. He’s expected to garner at least $6MM annually on the open market.
  • While new Lions head coach Matt Patricia has a clear working relationship with free agent cornerback Malcolm Butler, Detroit is more likely to fill its secondary needs internally, said general manager Bob Quinn (link via Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com). Given that they may need to replace both Nevin Lawson and D.J. Hayden (and find a new slot corner with Quandre Diggs moving to safety), the Lions will likely give opportunities to 2017 rookies Teez Tabor and Jamal Agnew. “We drafted those guys for a reason last year, and when we evaluated them in the postseason process, we liked what they did and their role,” said Quinn.
  • Veteran quarterback Mark Sanchez didn’t attempt a single pass for the Bears last season, but Chicago could nonetheless be open to a reunion. “You know, he did a good job this year,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said, via Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com. “All the things we value with him: his veteran leadership and his experiences. Again he’s a free agent; those are all evaluations that are ongoing.” Chicago doesn’t have a backup for Mitch Trubisky on its current roster after announcing its intent to release Mike Glennon earlier today.
  • If linebacker Derrick Johnson doesn’t land a new deal on the open market, he has a standing to return to the Chiefs as a coach, head coach Andy Reid told reporters, including Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link). The Chiefs recently announced that they won’t re-sign the 35-year-old, but Johnson still wants to continue his career. Johnson is highly respected for his locker room presence, so it’s no surprise Reid would want the veteran defender on staff if his playing career is over.

Extra Points: Raiders, Steelers, Jeffery

The city of Oakland is attempting a last-ditch effort to keep the Raiders in advance of what promises to be a seminal vote Monday at the owners’ meetings. But this latest $1.3 billion proposal may not be enough to stop the owners from green-lighting a Las Vegas move. Oakland’s updated pitch “did not move the chains forward” with the NFL, Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News reports (on Twitter). The league is reviewing the proposal, but Bonsignore adds (Twitter link) the core issues at the root of the NFL’s reluctance regarding this project are not resolved. Bonsignore does not estimate the project can move forward (Twitter link) as presently constructed, setting the stage for a possible third Raiders relocation. This belief would stand to continue the league’s pessimism on the Oakland front.

Here’s the latest from Oakland and the rest of the NFL.

  • The Fortress Investment Group’s involvement in this project may not be a plus investment for the Raiders, who would “have to be in desperate straits” to sign up for an arrangement in which the team wouldn’t have much stake in its own stadium, Stanford economics professor Roger Noll said, via J.K. Dineen of the San Francisco Chronicle. “Even if Las Vegas doesn’t work out, the Raiders could get a better deal in San Diego or St. Louis,” Noll said. “There has never been a major league sports team that has had a deal like this where a third party is the main financier of the stadium and the main beneficiary of the revenue it generates.” The project would in large part be financed by a Fortress loan of $600MM, along with another $500MM loan backed by seat licensing fees, Dineen reports.
  • Dont’a Hightower agreed to take less money from the Patriots than he would have gotten from the Jets as a UFA, but the Steelers also offered the linebacker a better deal, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. Pittsburgh offered the sixth-year linebacker a deal that would have paid him more then $9MM per year. He signed to stay with the Patriots for $8.7MM AAV. However, both the Steelers and Jets were concerned with Hightower’s health. This led to the Jets pulling their offer after Hightower’s physical. La Canfora adds the Jets and Steelers felt they were being used as leverage during this process.
  • Mark Sanchez‘s one-year Bears deal is worth $2MM, with $1MM guaranteed, Tom Pelissero of USA Today reports (on Twitter). The journeyman backup can earn another $2MM in incentives.
  • A thorough piece on Adam Schefter — by TheMMQB.com’s Tim Rohan — revealed a phone conversation ESPN’s chief NFL reporter had with Alshon Jeffery during the first day of free agency. Rohan reports Jeffery called Schefter asking him how much money the other UFA wide receivers were going to sign for. “It’s all about the guarantee, Alshon,” Schefter said, per Rohan, who noted players sometimes call the longtime NFL reporter with similar queries. “It’s all about the guarantee … Your average per year could be $100 million. It doesn’t matter. If they’re going to guarantee you the majority of the contract, that’s what you want.” Jeffery, who signed with the Eagles, does not remember the events unfolding like this. “I NEVER sought advice from media before I decided to sign my contract with the Eagles,” Jeffery tweeted. The wideout who is attempting to shake off an injury- and suspension-marred past two years signed with Philadelphia for one year and $9.5MM ($8.75MM guaranteed).