Not long ago, Broncos quarterback Mark Sanchez was in line to not play in the fourth preseason game because he was in line to be the starter. On Thursday night, Sanchez didn’t play in the fourth preseason game, because he’s clearly destined to not be on the team.
Rookie first-rounder Paxton Lynch handled the entire game at Arizona for the Broncos, with Sanchez not playing in his second straight preseason game.
Coach Gary Kubiak wasn’t asked about Sanchez’s status after the game, possibly because he already has said he won’t be talking about it. Or possibly because anyone who is paying attention knows that Sanchez likely is done in Denver.
The options remain as follows: (1) trade him; (2) cut him; (3) keep him at a reduced salary; or (4) cut him and bring him back after Week One. Cutting Sanchez avoids the seventh-round pick that the Broncos would owe the Eagles, along with $3.5 million in base salary beyond the $1 million that is fully guaranteed.
Chances are Sanchez would get close to $1 million from another team if he’s cut, which means that the Broncos could end up completely off the hook or close to it by cutting him loose.
Whatever the specific outcome, it’s now clear that Sanchez has fallen to No. 3 on the depth chart behind a pair of guys who have never thrown a regular-season pass in the NFL. Which makes his time in Denver a complete and total failure. With all due respect.