A day after announcing they are benching starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, the New York Jets are shopping him around, gauging trade interest around the league, according to numerous reports Wednesday.
The New York Daily News went so far as to say that Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick, who like Sanchez has fallen out of favor with his current team, would be open to coming to the Jets if Sanchez is no longer the QB. And the feeling may be mutual.
“Bring it on,” the Daily News quoted a Jets source as saying about adding Vick if he is available. “He was hit too many times [behind a subpar offensive line] the last two years.”
“Ryan loves him,” the Daily News quoted a team official as saying about head coach Rex Ryan’s feelings about Vick.
Second-year quarterback Greg McElroy will start this Sunday against San Diego in place of Sanchez. It has been a stunning decline for Sanchez, who led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game in each of his first two seasons but has committed a league-high 50 turnovers over the last two seasons.
Drafted fifth overall in 2009, Sanchez was signed to an extension this past offseason that brought his total contract value to $58.25 million over five years.
Multiple outlets reported that in order for the Jets to find a taker for Sanchez, they would likely need to pay a large portion of the $8.25 million he is owed for next season. If the team cuts Sanchez, the cap charge would be $17.1 million for 2013, making a trade the much more desirable move (a trade would cost the Jets $8.9 million plus whatever they pay the team taking Sanchez).
When asked about his feelings on the situation, according to the Daily News, Sanchez told reporters Wednesday, “I’m not going to make excuses. At the end of the day, no matter what kind of situation that you’re in, the quarterback has the ball and it’s my job to make good decisions with the football regardless of the personnel situation.
"I’m not going to go there. Is every interception the quarterback’s fault? Of course not. But they’re attributed to the quarterback. It goes as my stat. You live with that. You own up to your side of the mistakes and you move on.”
Sanchez’s fate was sealed on Monday night, when he committed five turnovers in a 14-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans that eliminated the Jets from playoff contention.
Also on Wednesday, the Jets’ other quarterback, little-used Tim Tebow, expressed his frustrations with his role on the Jets this season and the decision to start McElroy next week.
“Obviously, I’m a little disappointed,” he said. “You try to handle it the best you can.
“All you can ask for and all you want is a chance. A chance to go out there and play the game you love, and help this team win football games. That’s all I wanted."