by Alex Poletti
After a titillating free agency period, quarterback Mark Sanchez has opted to retire instead of signing with any of the 32 teams in the NFL, no doubt leaving other players and coaches heartbroken that they missed out on the generational talent.
“This has been a very tough decision for me, but I’ve decided to hang up the cleats this year,” the veteran quarterback says. “At the end of the day, I had to make a decision. I could either not play because no teams were signing me, or I could not play because I wouldn’t let them sign me. I think I made the right choice.”
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapaport first reported the news. According to further reports by The Second String, now that Sanchez is out of the league, every team would love to have him. However, none felt more strongly than the New York Giants.
“Come to think of it, he is the perfect quarterback for our organization,” general manager Dave Gettleman says. “He’d make a great example for guys like Daniel Jones: a high-profile draft stud who has no chance of making it in the NFL.”
The journeyman’s original home, the Jets, were also remorseful that they couldn’t bring “Sanchize” back. Regardless, they believe they have what it takes to honor his legacy going forward.
“Mark was definitely the face of the franchise,” newly-ordained Jets head coach Adam Gase says. “Nothing epitomizes our organization more than the butt fumble. He’s truly an icon. I know that I’m new and Joe [Douglas, Jets GM] is new too, but I think it’s safe to say you can expect a lot of Sanchez-style plays in the future.”
Sanchez’s last season was in the nation’s capital, where he signed a deal as the twelfth-string quarterback. After every viable quarterback option sustained an injury and no one else in the stadium was willing to go out on the field, the Redskins had no other option than to let Sanchez play. The result was as bad as everyone imagined, with the signal caller throwing two interceptions and taking five sacks before getting benched.
“I remember that day very clearly,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden says. “We had no quarterbacks. We asked the waterboy if he wanted to go out, but he said didn’t want to. Then, we asked the fans over the PA system if anyone could throw a football. I think Mark was sleeping in the parking lot or something, heard the question and came into the clubhouse. If nothing else, it was very honorable of him.”
Sanchez ends his forgettable career with 86 touchdowns and 89 interceptions to accompany a 73.2 passer rating. Those stats make him one of the best players in Jets franchise history.