The NFL suspended free-agent quarterback Mark Sanchez for the first four games of the 2018 season on Friday for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances, according to The MMQB's Albert Breer.
"The NFL has informed me that I have tested positive for a substance on the banned substance list," Sanchez wrote on Instagram. "I was blind-sided by the news and I want to say unequivocally that I have never cheated or attempted to gain a competitive advantage by using a banned performance enhancing substance.
"...My test history and pharmacological science confirm I was not cheating and the positive test was the result of incidental and isolated exposure to a banned substance. I was tested by the NFL 30 days before and 12 days after my one positive test. Both tests bracketing the one positive test were clean."
Sanchez added that while he did not knowingly take any substances, the league's rules are clear regarding any sort of consumption:
"Nevertheless, the NFL has an extremely comprehensive performance enhancing drug policy. Because of the policy's comprehensive and self-described 'strict liability' nature, players know that inadvertent exposure to a banned substance may lead to a positive test. The policy makes it each player's responsibility to avoid even the unwitting ingestion of a banned substance. I accept responsibility as a professional and will move forward with greater caution in the future. I look forward to getting back on the field this season."
Sanchez, 31, hasn't taken a regular-season snap since 2016 when he was a member of the Dallas Cowboys. He spent last season buried on the Chicago Bears' depth chart behind Mitchell Trubisky and Mike Glennon.
Sanchez's last start came on Thanksgiving in 2015 with the Philadelphia Eagles—a 45-14 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
Over the course of seven seasons, the 2009 first-round pick has completed 56.7 percent of his passes for 15,219 yards, 86 touchdowns and 86 interceptions.