Cowboys sign Mark Sanchez after Broncos release him
The Denver Broncos released Mark Sanchez on Saturday, but the veteran quarterback wasn't out of a job for long — the Dallas Cowboys are signing Sanchez to be their backup, the team announced.
However, the announcement of the move came so fast — in the since-deleted tweet above — that the Cowboys had to assure everyone that they hadn't violated NFL rules.
Sanchez was signed by Denver earlier this offseason and given every opportunity to take over for Peyton Manning and start for the Super Bowl champs. But the 29-year-old failed to impress in training camp and the preseason, and the Broncos gave the starting job to Trevor Siemian, despite the fact he has one snap of regular-season experience. By the end of the preseason, Sanchez was third-string behind rookie Paxton Lynch.
The Broncos reportedly tried to trade Sanchez but found no takers for his one-year, $4.5 million contract. By releasing him, they save $3.5 million and won't have to send a seventh-round draft pick to Philadelphia, where Sanchez spent the past two seasons. They also freed up a roster spot and signed another QB, Austin Davis, to a one-year deal.
"I had a long talk with Mark today and he handled it with great class," John Elway told reporters. "... It was a tough situation to walk into."
However, Sanchez's struggles didn't deter Jerry Jones, who lost both Tony Romo and backup Kellen Moore to injury this preseason, from agreeing to a one-year deal reportedly worth up to $2.5 million. With rookie Dak Prescott elevated to starter, the Cowboys were expected to sign a veteran backup. Dallas also kept former practice-squad QB Jameill Showers on Saturday and waived emergency backup Jerrod Johnson.
Sanchez has started 72 of his 75 career games, including all 62 in four seasons with the Jets. He played in just four games last year in Philadelphia, completing 64.8 percent of his passes for 616 yards, four TDs and four interceptions. He's thrown for 86 TDs and 84 picks in his six-year career.
Dallas has to decide whether to place Tony Romo on the injured reserve-return list after he broke a bone in his back in a preseason game at Seattle. Romo would miss the first seven games if he's on that list, and Sanchez could take that roster spot.