New York Jets: The career of Mark Sanchez left much to be desired

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Mark Sanchez, New York Jets (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /

Former New York Jets franchise quarterback Mark Sanchez officially retired from the NFL. His playing career was disappointing after so much collegiate praise.

The NFL career of former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has come to an end as of this past Tuesday. The 32-year old has accepted a job offer to become a studio analyst with ESPN as part of their college football coverage for the upcoming season.

The ten years Sanchez spent in the NFL were event filled with little redeeming moments. He was the number five overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the New York Jets who that day desperately traded up to acquire his services. Sanchez was quickly heralded as the franchise quarterback or as Jets fans affectionately referred to him as “The Sanchize” hoping to bring the struggling team back to prominence.

The first two seasons were incredible in New York for the former USC Trojan as he led the Jets to back to back AFC championship game appearances. The popularity of his ability to manage the game offensively mixed with a fantastic defense spearheaded by then-head coach Rex Ryan led to high hopes for Sanchez’s tenure with “Gang Green.” The team’s hype reached a fever pitch when they were featured on the popular training camp HBO show Hard Knocks. It zoomed in on the day to day life of a potential Super Bowl contending team.

The next two seasons were dreadful as both Sanchez, and the team would struggle and miss the playoffs in consecutive seasons. The advantage they had built the two years before over division rival New England had vanished as the Tom Brady and the Patriots would steamroll past the Jets consistently. The lowest point in the Patriots rivalry and Sanchez’s career took place on Thanksgiving in 2012 in front of a nationally televised audience.

The butt fumble is still highly regarded as one of the most embarrassing moments in sports history. Sanchez turned the ball over by running face-first into his offensive lineman’s buttocks. He has since made light of the infamous blunder most recently last season while speaking with reporters asking before a game against the New York Giants.

"“What are you going to do? It was a crappy play in a game we were getting our butts kicked,”"

"“Some low-hanging fruit, so that was an easy reach for you,” he said. “I’m just kidding! I’m just kidding! Come on. You can give it to me; I can give it right back. Come on. Thick skin in here, huh? No, listen: Who cares? It’s one play. And just move on. I prefer to remember the good stuff.”"

After four seasons with the Jets Sanchez became a journeyman making stops with the Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears and last season with the Washington Redskins. His final career stats total of 86 touchdowns, and 89 interceptions are a far cry from the impact expected when taken in the top ten of the draft.

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The Jets will forever be reminded of the dismal play of Sanchez with every young quarterback that takes the helm. Sam Darnold is entering season two in the league, and even he knows the honeymoon doesn’t last forever.