Recently benched quarterback Mark Sanchez has been "coddled" by the Jets and would be a "bad apple" as a backup in New York next season, one former teammate says.
Kris Jenkins, who played defensive tackle for the Jets from 2008-10, took Sanchez and the Jets to task on Showtime's "Inside the NFL" on Wednesday as part of a panel discussion with host James Brown, two-time Super Bowl winner Phil Simms and former Pro Bowl wide receiver Cris Collinsworth.
The Jets reportedly are looking to trade Sanchez, who was benched in favor of second-year quarterback Greg McElroy for Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers. Multiple outlets have 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 guaranteed for next season.
Simms slammed the Jets and Sanchez for their performances in Monday night's 14-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans but added, "One thing in Mark Sanchez's defense: They've never built the team or the offense around him."
Jenkins vehemently disagreed. "They gave Sanchez everything," he said.
He added, "He had a stellar offensive line. He had running backs that kept the pressure off of him. He had the opportunity to grow and develop. What Sanchez has to take responsibility for is during the time that he could've gotten better, he wanted to sit back and he wanted to pose for magazines, worry about his haircuts, do all of that stuff."
Brown asked Jenkins, who was hampered by injuries in his final two seasons with the Jets, specifically about his view of Sanchez and the team from 2008-10.
"From what I saw him do," Jenkins said, "it was a lot better than what it is now. But he coasted. They coddled him. That was what was going on. This is a man's profession; you have to man up at some point in time."
The panel then discussed the possibility of Sanchez and Tim Tebow both returning to the Jets next season. Simms called it "really hard to sell." Collinsworth went so far as to say, "I think Sanchez is going to be the backup QB there next year," and that the Jets would bring in a top-flight QB.
Jenkins then put the capper on the discussion: "I think that if you leave Sanchez in that locker room (as a backup), he's gonna become a bad apple."