They got him for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2017. They’ll pay him peanuts in comparison to what Brock Osweiler wanted. And the Broncos quite possibly have found their quarterback for 2016.
What appeared to be a Band-Aid aimed at getting the fan base to stop freaking out (imagine how worse it would have been if marijuana weren’t legal in Colorado) over the retirement of Peyton Manning and departure of Osweiler could be something more than that, based on the introductory remarks of quarterback Mark Sanchez. Put simply, if Sanchez is merely a placeholder, he hasn’t gotten the memo yet.
In his introductory press conference on Monday, Sanchez sounded like a guy who plans to be something more than a small, flightless bird in the hand for the Broncos. Instead, Sanchez sees the opportunity as a way to turn his career around after seven seasons with the Jets and Eagles.
“All that experience, I feel like that can only help you as you move on in your career, and going into my eighth year, I’m battle tested,” Sanchez said. “I’ve been through the fire. I’ve been in some tough media markets. I’ve played in some great games. I’ve seen the highs and the lows of this league. I’m just eager to get started.”
When he got started with the Jets in 2009, Sanchez took the Jets to consecutive AFC title games, beating Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in consecutive weeks to cap his second year as a quarterback.
“I think just that experience in that atmosphere and understanding what is expected of the quarterback down the stretch and playing some of my best games in the toughest situations — on the road in the playoffs — all that experience can only help you,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez, in his mind, brings another plus to the table.
“I’m not married,” he said. “I don’t have a girlfriend. I don’t have kids. I just want to play ball and I want to win. I really want to win, and I’m so lucky to be in a spot like this. Every waking moment, that’s all I’m thinking about. What an opportunity this is. I want to win and I want to play here.”
Setting aside for now the question of whether success from Sanchez will cause the copycat NFL to start looking for quarterbacks with minimal personal attachments, Sanchez seems to be in position to possibly do good things for the Broncos.
If nothing else, his confidence will give the Broncos added leverage if/when they try to trade for Colin Kaepernick or sign Ryan Fitzpatrick. Likewise, it makes the needs at the position less glaring during the draft, making it less likely that the Broncos would be leapfrogged as they prepare to draft a quarterback in one of the middle rounds.
Or maybe the Broncos will pay $4.5 million for one year for a starting quarterback with six career starts in the postseason instead of giving $72 million over four years to a starting quarterback with seven total career starts.