After a reported interest and near-signing disappeared behind the bombshell that was Chip Kelly’s media appearance at the owners meeting, the Eagles and former Jets QB Mark Sanchez made things official Friday morning by signing a one-year deal worth up to $4 million to go with $2.25 million guaranteed.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) March 28, 2014
Sanchez will join an all Pac-12 (or Pac-10 when he was in college) quarterback corps with Arizona’s Nick Foles the starter and fellow USC Trojan Matt Barkley competing for the backup spot. For all the assumptions that head coach Chip Kelly was entrenched in his schematic ways that brought him such success at Oregon, one needs to look no further than the quarterback position to squash that notion. Three pocket passers will most likely make up the top three slots on the Eagles depth charter, shockingly enough with Foles being the most successful career runner.
After the departure of Michael Vick, a player with Sanchez’s experience was an essential addition to such an important position. Even with Foles’ promising showing as a starter in 2013, the Eagles did play three quarterbacks at different times, only highlighting the value of depth under center. Barkley was far from promising in limited relief action for the Eagles last season, making backup quarterback a high-priority position when it came to free agency. After passing over some of the early signings of players competing for starting jobs, Sanchez and his merciful release from the New York Jets seemed to fit the bill for a Chip Kelly reclamation project.
The biggest hangup in the completion deal was the status of the 27-year old veteran was the status of his repaired right shoulder, an injury that caused him to miss 2013. Soon after the initial reporting of the deal, many backtracked noting the Eagles preference to give their potential investment a meticulous physical evaluation before making any sort of financial commitment. Things apparently checked out Thursday and the two sides put pen to paper Friday morning.
Sanchez is 33-29 in his career as a starter with 12,092 passing yards while completing 55.1% of his throws. He has 68 touchdowns compared to 69 interceptions and a 4-2 mark in the postseason. One would have to think he is giving Philadelphia a shot as a chance to revive what was once a very promising career with the Jets. Either way, GM Howie Roseman noted the ‘matter-of-fact’ nature of bringing in a player like Sanchez.
“You can never have enough talent at the quarterback position on your roster, so when Mark became available we immediately became interested…He was obviously a very highly-touted player coming out of USC and has had valuable experience in this league. He’ll have the chance to come in and learn the playbook, and we feel he’ll be a nice veteran addition to the quarterback room.”
Hard to argue that logic. Hopefully Sanchez doesn’t bring with him any sort of secondary antics, as he could end up being a valuable presence in the Eagles locker room.