Mark Sanchez the Franchise Quarterback, or Should the Jets Change Directions?

Bryan KempContributor IIDecember 5, 2011

Is he still the franchise quarterback?
Is he still the franchise quarterback?Rob Carr/Getty Images

Since being drafted No. 5 overall in the 2009 NFL draft, Mark Sanchez has been dubbed the New York Jets' franchise quarterback of the future. In fact, fans started referring to Sanchez as the "Sanchise," believing that he would be their quarterback for years to come.

But after two-and-a-half years as the Jets' starting quarterback, some people are questioning whether he is the right man for the job. 

Mark Sanchez has shown promise over his first two years starting, but overall he has been so inconsistent that Jets fans are wondering whether a different quarterback could take them to the Super Bowl.

Should the New York Jets scrap the "Sanchise" plan and look to pick up another quarterback in the upcoming draft?

I wouldn't go that far just yet, Jets fans. As of right now, the Jets would be drafting in the middle of the first round, and it doesn't look too promising to pick up a franchise quarterback in this position.

Andrew Luck will be the first pick overall, and the next two quarterbacks, Matt Barkley and Robert Griffin lll—if they even enter the draft—should be picked close after him. So you're looking at Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, unless the Jets make another big move like in 2009 and trade up to get Barkley or Griffin III.  I don’t see that happening at this time for the Jets.

Everyone wants to blame Mark Sanchez for the Jets' poor start and for holding this team back from reaching its real potential.

Yes, he is to blame for a good chunk of the Jets' losses, but he's also won a lot of games for the Jets, which everyone seems to forget. It's only his fourth year as a starting quarterback, dating back to his college career.

I'm not comparing him at all to Drew Brees or Peyton Manning, but they started most of their college careers and didn't come into their own until their third or fourth NFL season. Manning had the yards, yes, but he also had the turnovers like Mark Sanchez.

At age 25, how can you give up on a guy with the potential that Sanchez holds? 

Two weeks ago against the Buffalo Bills, Sanchez led the game-winning drive and ended that game throwing four touchdowns.

Yesterday, he didn’t really put up great numbers, but he managed the game well, didn’t turn the ball over and led another game-winning scoring drive for the Jets.  It was the 10th fourth-quarter comeback/overtime win of his career. 

Sanchez has shown that he does show up when the game is on the line and plays need to be made.

Going back to look at his playoff career so far, you can’t argue that he hasn’t shown up to play. Throwing for nine touchdowns and only three interceptions in six total playoff games.  He’s already tied for the NFL record for most road playoff wins in NFL history, and it’s only his third year in the league.

Last year, he out-dueled Tom Brady and Peyton Manning before losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger, all previous Super Bowl winners.

Mark Sanchez has his ups and downs, but I believe it’s too early for the Jets to give up on him. They traded up in the draft for him and put a lot of money into him to be their starting quarterback. 

He has shown multiple times that he has the talent to lead this Jets team but has also shown that he needs to cut down his costly turnovers.

As for now, I can’t see the Jets starting all over with another quarterback after the time and money they’ve put into Mark Sanchez.

Maybe if a quarterback like Peyton Manning becomes available for a cheap price, then a change could be made.