No sooner was quarterback Sam Bradford lost for the season to a re-torn anterior cruciate ligament than the speculation began and that speculation centered squarely around Mark Sanchez.
It was kind of logical, given that Sanchez played under the Rams’ offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, when he was with the New York Jets. But not so fast with the “Meet me in St. Louis” stuff. There is “no chance” Sanchez would leave the Philadelphia Eagles, an unnamed source told USA Today. Sanchez may have played well at times with Schottenheimer, but his wretched 2012 season, lowlighted by the butt fumble, isn’t leaving him eager to rejoin Schottenheimer. He missed all of last season after being injured in a preseason game and undergoing shoulder surgery.
Nor are the Eagles eager to ship him off. He may be locked into the No. 2 spot behind Nick Foles, but the team knows the importance of a good backup. Over the last 10 seasons, their starter has played all 16 games only once.
“I’m also a big guy that you better have two quarterbacks in this league,” Coach Chip Kelly said last week (via Philly.com), before the trade talk ramped up exponentially. “So unless something blows you out of the water, we’re really confident with Mark coming and starting the game for the Eagles.”
Sanchez comes at a reasonable, $2.25 million cost, as Jeff McLane points out, and has played well this preseason, completing 25-of-31 passes for 281 yards with two touchdowns, an interception and a 112.5 passer rating. He can become a free agent after the season and playing 2014 out in Philly probably would be best for him–not that individual concerns matter much in the NFL. From McLane:
Based on how he has played and the Kelly association, Sanchez would get a legitimate opportunity to start somewhere else next season. He loves this system, though, and would likely prefer to stay. His reported disinterest in the Rams could also suggest that he believes, given the opportunity, he could beat out Foles.
He may never get that chance. But Kelly’s public demands for Sanchez – “It better be a pretty good deal,” he said – imply that he knows the 50-50 odds that Foles will play an entire season. In addition to the 12 quarterbacks who missed time to injury, seven were benched last season, including Michael Vick for Foles.
Nothing can be ruled out.
By mid-afternoon, Sanchez had addressed the topic:
Mark Sanchez: "I’m an Eagle. I love being an Eagle. …There’s a ton of quarterbacks. Talk about someone else.”
— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) August 25, 2014