The free agency is beginning to open up as the salary caps come in to play. NFL players left, right and centre are being cut and moving on to new teams.
This is even more evident in the quarterback position. Michael Vick, who the Philadelphia Eagles are not keeping as backup, could be heading to Minnesota.
Even running back Adrian Peterson has back him, which would leave Christian Ponder without a starting place. Matt Cassel also appears to be on the move as it Matt Schaub for the Houston Texans.
But what is more interesting is who isn’t on the move. In this case I’m looking at New York Jets QB, Mark Sanchez.
The NFL season and free agency doesn’t officially start until March 11, so it’s difficult to tell exactly what will happen. But let’s look at some facts:
In 2012, back when Sanchez and the Jets looked to be a very promising developing team, the Jets laid out a three year $40 million extension to his contract.
They have salary cap space and they have draft picks. But this year, Sanchez will count to just over $13 million against that salary cap.
If Sanchez is on the roster come March 25 then he’ll get a $2 million bonus as part of his contract. Bear in mind this is for a guy who was on IR most of last year, didn’t start a game and had his confidence knocked and talent questioned.
Here’s the thing though: Which person would you get in should you release him? What potential gains are you going to get from trading him?
In actual reality the answer is probably no one and very little, respectively to those questions.
There is little doubt that teams would happily snap up Sanchez as he has quality and is a good asset for the Jets to trade, given their current QB depth. It would make business sense.
The financial aspect is also an easy decision for the Jets as he has already received all of the guaranteed money from his contract. So releasing him would be financially astute and could save them the extra $2 million bonus package.
But the problem is the biggest problem for the Jets and that’s football on the field. The current depth in the QB position is not the solution for them. Their record for the last two years frankly flatters their performances.
Is it worth unsettling a team that is fairly unsettled and journeyman filled anyway to bring in a new young inexperienced QB or a veteran ego QB? Probably not and doing so would invite failure and maybe the pink slip for Rex Ryan.
The Jets are not really ready to say that its time for a rebuild and their draft position isn’t strong enough to find a new franchise player to rally behind. Sanchez might be very open to leaving however.
It was a pointless situation in his eyes that caused his year on IR and tensions flared. They could flare again should the season plummet and leave all parties with an untenable situation.
I’ll be honest. Mark Sanchez is not the answer for the Jets to go all the way. But, he will have the consistency to make the Wild Card games at least. But that relies on the team building a strong offensive line.
If the Jets can draft well, trade well and utilise the space they have in the salary cap, then they’d be able to get the best out of Sanchez that we saw pre-2012.
Are the current QB’s on the market reportedly any better than Sanchez in reality? They’re certainly older and maybe more experienced, but not strong game winners or dynamic changers. Not that Sanchez is either but he is more so than the available talent.
Would you keep him? Well, better the devil you know, I suppose.