In late January, an unnamed coach told Brian Costello of the New York Post that, if/when the Jets cut Mark Sanchez, Sanchez would be welcome in the unnamed coach’s locker room.
“We’d take Sanchez,” the unnamed coach said. “He’d be the starter as soon as he walked in the door for us.”
Now that Sanchez has been cut by the Jets, the unnamed coach has a chance to make good on his promise.
Of course, since the coach’s identity isn’t known, it’s impossible to know whether the coach was being honest. It’s also possible that the coach’s team has acquired a better quarterback in the gap between the day the statement was made and the moment Sanchez was released.
Given the timing, the quote didn’t come from the Browns’ head coach; they didn’t have a head coach when the report surfaced on January 22. But now that former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has been hired in Cleveland, it’s obvious that Sanchez would instantly be installed as the No. 1 quarterback for the Browns, by default.
Sure, Sanchez could be supplanted once Brian Hoyer becomes healthy or if/when a rookie is selected with the fourth overall pick. Regardless, the Browns could be the first team to phone Sanchez, now that he’s available.
It would be fitting, given that the Browns sent to the Jets the draft pick that became Sanchez. Five years later, the Browns can get him for a lot less.
Other teams that could be (could be, not will be) interested in Sanchez as a potential starter include the Texans, Raiders, Jaguars, Titans, and Vikings.
As backup gigs go, the Eagles may not be ready to hand the reins to Matt Barkley. Likewise, the Rams need someone to run the offseason program while Sam Bradford continues to recover from a torn ACL, and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer worked fairly well with Sanchez in New York, at times.
There simply aren’t enough good quarterbacks to fill up 32 depth charts. Sanchez will land somewhere, and there’s a chance he can get back to the promise he showed in the first two years of his career, before one so-so season prompted the Jets to upset the proverbial apple cart by bringing Tim Tebow to town.