Getting injured was the smartest thing Mark Sanchez could’ve done

Mark Sanchez’s Career Move

11/29/13 in NFL   |   PAULLEBOWITZ   |   109 respect

Nov 4, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA;   Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) walks off the field after the Chicago Bears beat the Green Bay Packers 27-20 at Lambeau Field. Rodgers left the game early in the 1st quarter with a left shoulder injury. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY SportsAfter Matt Flynn’s performance yesterday, the condition of the Packers and the quarterbacking situation as a whole in the NFL, injured Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has managed to bolster his value by doing little more than getting knocked out for the year in preseason with a torn labrum.
 
It’s not just the Packers’ quarterback problems since Aaron Rodgers got hurt that have shined the light on the sorry state of quarterbacking in the NFL. No one could have reasonably expected the trio of Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and Flynn to make up for the absence of arguably the best quarterback in football. Rodgers’s importance has been increased exponentially by the Packers' four-week plummet without him. Now they’re in danger of missing the playoffs entirely because of the horrid stretch they’ve endured. It’s not an indictment on general manager Ted Thompson, coach Mike McCarthy or the Packers organization to say they should’ve gotten a better backup than Wallace. Rodgers has been so durable that there was no reason to believe that he’d miss a substantial amount of time. More notably, there aren’t any decent backups available. Many teams don’t have a starting quarterback they’re satisfied with, so how can anyone be expected to find a good backup?
 
How this affects Sanchez and his future is clear in that he has more opportunities. Sanchez is still under contract for the Jets and while it was considered fait accompli that he’d thrown his last pass for them when his shoulder blew out in preseason, now that’s not such a sure thing. Geno Smith was drafted to take over for Sanchez. The Jets wanted him to win the job and the consensus was that he was going to start unless he fell flat on his face in the preseason. Sanchez’s fate was unknown. Now, however, the Jets are still unsure as to whether Smith is the long-term answer. There’s talk that they may again be looking for still another quarterback in a draft deep with signal-calling talent. The ambiguity opens the door for Sanchez.
 
A telling question is this: If Sanchez were on the Jets’ active roster, would he have been inserted as Smith’s replacement at some point this season? The answer is an emphatic yes and it would’ve happened long ago. For all of the ridicule Sanchez has received, it can’t be said that he was as utterly inept as Smith has shown himself to be at times (buttfumble or not). Smith gets something of a break because he’s a rookie, but when compared with Sanchez’s rookie season, he loses that argument as Sanchez took the Jets to the AFC Championship Game and showed himself to be cool under late-game pressure.
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11/30/13   |   PAULLEBOWITZ   |   109 respect

He's gotten a bad rap, but much of it isn't his fault. He deserves another chance elsewhere or even with the Jets again. He's certainly more polished than Geno Smith now and probably over the next three years. Smith is a project and is reminding me of Browning Nagle more and more every game.

11/30/13   |   afbnegx3

Smart article. I agree wholeheartedly. Sanchez is a guy that can keep an A team going if the starting QB goes down. And with the right team (Jets were too woefully dysfunctional these past 2 years), he can be a starter that takes a team at least to the playoffs.