The price of having a capable backup quarterback in today's NFL is higher than ever, valued at nearly $2 million. A backup who has struggled mightily in his past two seasons, and is worth roughly five times more than that isn't worth stashing on the New York Jets roster.
With rookie quarterback Geno Smith finishing the season strong the team is in little need of Mark Sanchez, who is coming off surgery to a torn labrum he suffered in his throwing shoulder. The likelihood that he is returning is very low due to financial implications and the team's desire to go in an opposite direction that strays from the choices made by the previous regime.
It would be in the best interest of the team to cut Sanchez before his $2 million roster bonus kicks in as of March. Cutting Sanchez before that time would allow the Jets to save $8.3 million, which would help them to pursue a top tier free agent with the amount of money they would have available. The team is currently in need of a wide receiver and safety, both of which will be heavily laden in this year's free agency class.
Sanchez was in danger of losing his starting job, even before he suffered the injury to his right shoulder during a preseason game against the New York Giants. In his past two seasons with the Jets, Sanchez had 52 turnovers combined and was ridiculed for his ineptitude to find open receivers.
A recent report came from the NY Post that an unnamed coach told a reporter that Sanchez "would be a starter the minute he walked in the door for us". That may pave the way for the Jets to gauge team's interest in the quarterback but it is far more likely that he will be cut due to his contract.
The Jets can find a serviceable quarterback to compete with Smith in free agency or draft another quarterback if they see it as an upgrade. At this point in time Sanchez does not seem to be that someone, and it would be best for both parties to separate.