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Friday, March 28, 2014
For a change, no pressure on Sanchez

By Rich Cimini

A few takeways on former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez signing with the Philadelphia Eagles:

Sanchez
1. Money matters: In the Jets-Eagles quarterback swap, the Jets ended up paying almost twice as much for Vick (one year, $4 million) as the Eagles did for Sanchez (one year, $2.25 million). Sanchez can earn another $1.75 million in playing-time incentives, but he'd have to play 90 percent of the offensive snaps to bring his total to $4 million. It amounts to a massive pay cut for Sanchez, who was to make $11.5 million this season under his Jets' contract -- none of which he will receive. The NFL can be a cruel business. If the Jets hadn't signed Vick, they likely would have tried to re-work Sanchez's deal, offering something similar to what he got in Philly.

2. Stress-free environment: At this point in free agency, Sanchez didn't have many attractive options, but this move makes sense. After five years in the New York crucible, he goes to a non-pressure situation, backing up Nick Foles. He can continue to rehab his surgically repaired throwing shoulder, learn Chip Kelly's system and work himself back into form -- just in case he needs to play. Being around an offensive guru such as Kelly can only help Sanchez, who could benefit from fresh coaching techniques. It could get his career turned around after two disappointing seasons.

3. Quarterback controversy? No, not really, but Sanchez absolutely believes he still can start in the NFL. Foles won the job last season with a brilliant performance (a 119.2 passer rating), but he has only 16 career starts and has missed time due to injuries in three of the past four seasons. In other words, it's not like Sanchez is playing behind Tom Brady. Even if he rides the bench for a year, Sanchez can rehabilitate his battered image and look for a starting gig elsewhere in 2015. If he gets on the field, he'll be surrounded by top skill-position talent, something he didn't have with the Jets.

4. No homecoming: The Jets don't have the NFC East on their 2014 schedule, but they always play the Eagles in the preseason finale. As a backup, Sanchez figures to see significant action. Unfortunately, it's at Lincoln Financial Field, not MetLife Stadium. That would have been really interesting.