According to a report in the New York Daily News, the New York Jets will attempt to trade former first-round quarterback Mark Sanchez after the end of the 2012 regular season. Sanchez helped to guide the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship games starting four years ago, but has struggled mightily in the last two seasons. A trade of Sanchez could be a very tricky option given the contract the Jets offered up to Sanchez, which includes over $8 million of guaranteed money next season.
The Daily News reports that perhaps the only option for a potential trade deal is for the Jets to agree to absorb the bulk of Sanchez’s $8.25 million guaranteed money next season. If the Jets can’t find a trade partner, they are expected to release him outright and the franchise will take a $17.1 million dollar cap hit next season.
It’s nice for the Jets to think that they would like to trade Sanchez, but where might he land? Who would be interested even if the Jets organization swallowed the bulk of his guaranteed money for next season?
Sanchez proved in his first and second season that he was able to manage a game as long as he has a few offensive weapons and a strong defense. However, in the last two seasons, Sanchez has struggled with 50 turnovers in his last 30 games. The Jets team is devoid of the offensive playmakers it had when he entered the league and the Jets have had some poor drafts in recent years. Not all of Sanchez’s struggles can be placed on the team’s recent draft failures however, his decision making is highly suspect.
Of the teams rumored to be making quarterback changes this offseason, I can’t see one of them wanting Sanchez.
Oakland Raiders– The Raiders could decide to jettison veteran Carson Palmer and his bloated salary next season. Would the Raiders be interested in adding yet another former USC quarterback to their roster? Frankly, at this point, I believe the Raiders ought to be looking at second year quarterback Terrelle Pryor in order to see what they have in him.
Kansas City Chiefs– The Chiefs will be in the position to draft a quarterback, and after the failures of Brady Quinn and Matt Cassel, they need to be looking towards the draft. Chiefs fans will grow weary of another quarterback free agent signing experiment.
Buffalo Bills– Rumors suggest that the Bills might part ways with Ryan Fitzpatrick this offseason. However, the Buffalo front office has already hinted that his replacement is going to come through the draft next season.
Jacksonville Jaguars– Chad Henne is under contract for the 2013 season, playing for $2.625 million next season. Blaine Gabbert, currently on the injured reserve list, is signed for $1.466 million next season. An upgrade is needed at the quarterback position, but would head coach Mike Mularkey risk his second season with Sanchez as the team’s starting quarterback?
It’s quite possible that Sanchez has simply played his way out of a starting job in the NFL. I don’t see many teams that would want to surrender a draft choice for Sanchez, even if they were interested in him, when they know that the Jets will simply release him. Once released, I could see him signing with a team, but only in a back up role.