The NY Jets are a playoff team if they trade for Mark Sanchez
The New York Jets do not have a viable starting quarterback on their roster. Geno Smith has proven to be inconsistent at best. His future is in doubt as is the future of the New York Jets. A couple of key acquisitions this off-season include Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall, the resigning of the cornerback with his own island Darrelle Revis, and his former partner in crime Antonio Cromartie. Those moves will add much needed depth to the Jets roster, both on the offensive and defensive side of the football.
However they still don't have a quarterback. No team in AFC East will make the playoffs without a quarterback. It's the Tom Brady rule. We can already assume the Patriots will finish first in the AFC East. There's about 14 years of prior experience to back up that claim. The Patriots aren't the only threat though. The Buffalo Bills have improved their running game with the acquisition of LeSean McCoy. The Dolphins signing of Ndamukong Suh bolsters an already good defensive line. There's no way the Jets can compete for a playoff spot without a quarterback.
The Jets have a few options at their disposal. They attempt to trade up in the NFL Draft to acquire Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston or University of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. This option doesn't seem likely considering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans, two teams that desperately need a quarterback, hold the first and second picks in the draft respectively. Anything can happen on draft day, especially with the New York Jets. But for now, I wouldn't hold my breath on Winston or Mariota wearing Gang Green come April.
I think the Jets should trade for a quarterback, namely former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. I know a lot of Jets fans just started screaming at the computer after reading that. I mean, Mark Sanchez, the man that led Gang Green to two straight AFC Championship games just a few years ago, couldn't possibly help bring a title to New York.
Sanchez just signed a two-year, nine million dollar contract with the Eagles at the start of the off-season. $5.5 million of that contact is guaranteed. That's not an expensive contract for an NFL starting quarterback. The Jets are well under the cap and could easily absorb the money in a trade. Sanchez last played a regular season snap for the Jets in 2012. His ill-fated placement in the Snoopy Bowl during the Jets 2013 preseason game vs. the Giants caused an unfortunate elbow injury.
The Eagles don't have a need at quarterback since they recently traded for former number one overall pick and Rams quarterback Sam Bradford. Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly has become famous this off-season for making head scratching trades. Kelly is developing his own offensive system and will make any trade he sees beneficial to that system. He's been rumored to be trying to acquire Mariota, who he coached at Oregon. Here's a trade I think that could work for both sides.
The Eagles should trade Mark Sanchez and their first-round pick (20th overall) to the New York Jets in exchange for their first-round pick and a fourth or five round pick. The Eagles would get a higher draft pick and possibly more bargaining room in the hopes of acquiring Mariota. The Jets would get a starting quarterback who is familiar with playing in New York. Sanchez thrived in New York with great wide receivers like Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes. If traded to New York, he'd have a legitimate number one receiver in Marshall and a 1A receiver in Eric Decker. Sanchez performed well for Philadelphia last season. In what amounted to half a season of work, Sanchez threw for 2,418 yards and 14 touchdowns.
If the Jets were to reacquire Sanchez, they would be in prime position for a playoff run. Rex Ryan is no longer there to make a droopy Snoopy out of the Jets offense. There's a good chance Sanchez would succeed if he returned for a second go around with New York. To use some poor Star Wars reference, instead of Sanchez coming to the Jets as a new hope, he would be returning as a Jet-i.