After losing his job as the New York Jets starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez could find himself with a new home in 2013. As much as Jets fans would love to see that happen, the team is insane to even think about it.
One day after Rex Ryan benched Sanchez for third-stringer Greg McElroy for Sunday’s game against the Chargers, the Daily News learned on Wednesday that the Jets will explore trading the player that they once believed would be their franchise quarterback.
It seemed like an inevitability based on the way Sanchez has played not only this season but throughout his career with the Jets. Even when the team was playing in the AFC Championship Game in 2009 and 2010, he never seemed to be getting better.
Everything fell apart for Sanchez this season. The team ranks 30th in the NFL in passing offense (181.1 yards per game). Sanchez is completing just 54.8 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, a paltry 6.41 yards per attempt and eight fumbles.
If those numbers were just a one-year blip on an otherwise spotless radar, Sanchez would be fine. But they actually aren't that far off from what he has done throughout his career.
His career completion percentage is 55.2, yards per game is 194.9, yards per attempt is 6.49 and he has averaged six fumbles every year.
To make matters even worse, Sanchez signed a contract extension with the Jets that covers five years from 2012-16 for $58 million. That deal includes a guaranteed $8.25 million in 2013.
According to Doug Kyed of NESN.com, just cutting Sanchez would cost the team over $17 million against the cap next year because of the guaranteed money, his rookie contract bonus of $2.5 million and his contract extension bonus of $6.4 million.
However, not even trading Sanchez would solve the problem facing the Jets right now.
Kyed reported that Sanchez's bonus of $8.9 million would count against the team's 2013 salary cap, which is about half of what they would owe if they just cut him, but you also have to factor in the money the Jets would have to kick in on Sanchez's contract for a team to take him.
Even as we talk about the possibility of trading Sanchez, and there will be a LOT of fans discussing it over the next few months, we have to remember that it takes two teams to make a trade happen.
While there are teams out there who will be looking for starting quarterbacks (Kansas City and Arizona, to name two), it is hard to envision anyone putting their hopes behind Sanchez at this point.
And again, if the Jets are going to trade Sanchez, how much of his salary will they be willing to eat? If you are paying virtually all of what he is owed, you might as well keep him around as a backup in case something happens to whomever is their starting quarterback next season.
Albert Einstein famously said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Looking at what the Jets did with Sanchez in 2012, by giving him an ill-advised contract extension and raise because they wanted to make him feel better after they didn't get Peyton Manning, starting him basically because Rex Ryan didn't like Tim Tebow, now saying they will trade him, I think it is time to amend Einstein's definition to include the Jets front office and coaching staff.
Sanchez has absolutely no value on the market right now, especially as a starter. So the Jets would be flipping a No. 5 pick in the draft a few years ago for, maybe, a seventh-round selection, and they would have to eat a lot of the money owed to him.
Perhaps Ryan can sell the 31 other teams in the NFL on Sanchez, because he lived in denial about the quarterback for so long.