Englewood, CO- When he entered the league in 2009, Mark Sanchez was a sure bet for the New York Jets. Nicknamed the “Sanchize,” after back-to-back AFC Championship appearances, there was never a doubt that he would lead the green and white back to championship glory; until there was.
Five years later, Sanchez, 29, is among football’s strongest punchlines. After ineptitude in New York and ineffectiveness in Philadelphia, he’s no doubt looking for a shot at redemption. Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway may have given him just that.
Sanchez was introduced to the media in his third NFL city Monday, less than a week after being traded to the Broncos from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a conditional 7th round draft pick in 2017. During the press conference, it became clear that Sanchez may be here longer than some might have expected.
“I’m excited to compete,” Sanchez said. “I’m excited to get in here and compete for the starting job. What a reinvigorating feeling this is. I can’t tell you how thrilled and excited I am to be here.”
That word “starting” was uttered a surprising amount for a player who most believe was brought to Denver to be a backup. In fact, if a person didn’t know better, he could easily think that Sanchez was slated in by the organization to be the team’s starting quarterback come September, and as of right now, he is.
Along with rookie Trevor Siemian, Sanchez is one of only two quarterbacks on the Broncos roster, making it perhaps the most questionable position on the field for the defending Super Bowl champions.
The Broncos, after all, are not used to this kind of uncertainty under center. For the last four years, the organization has been led by Peyton Manning, one of the steadiest hands in the history of professional football.
Sanchez is no stranger to replacing legends like Manning. He was asked to replace soon to be Hall of Famer Brett Favre as a rookie with the Jets.
“What a unique circumstance that was,” Sanchez said. “Nobody follows those guys. You don’t try and emulate them. You see what they do on the field and you’d love to do some of those things, especially all the successful things he’s done. You don’t try and be Peyton Manning.”
The Broncos say that Sanchez is just the first step in the process of finding their next franchise quarterback. Since losing out on Brock Osweiler to the Houston Texans, the Broncos have had to scramble to find their long-term answer.
While sources say the team is still in talks with the San Francisco 49ers to acquire mobile gunslinger Colin Kaepernick, and have considered other options like Brian Hoyer, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Robert Griffin III. However, Sanchez is clearly hopeful that he can be the Broncos answer under center.
“I’ve seen a lot in this league,” Sanchez said. “I’m not married. 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.
Jake Marsing is an Analyst with Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @JakeDMarsing
To get instant Broncos notifications, download the NEW Scout mobile app for iOS HERE!
Be sure to check out the ever-growing benefit package of being a Mile High Huddle Insider! Check it out HERE.