The Philadelphia Eagles have signed free agent quarterback
"I've said many times that we will always look to add quality players at the quarterback position," said Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. "We consider it a key position in this game, so having the chance to add Mark to that group was a no-brainer for us. Mark has started 68 games in his career and has taken his teams deep into the playoffs multiple times, so we really like what he brings to the table from an experience standpoint. I also had the chance to see Mark play in college and have always had respect for his game and athletic ability."
Originally a first-round selection (fifth overall) of the New York Jets in 2009, Sanchez (6-2, 225) started 62 career regular season games for the Jets, totaling 12,092 yards and 68 touchdowns on 55.1 percent passing while leading the team to the AFC Championship Game twice (2009, 2010) during his stint with the team.
Additionally, Sanchez orchestrated 10 come-from-behind wins in the fourth quarter or overtime while with the Jets, which ranks tied for ninth in the NFL during the span. Sanchez missed the entire 2013 season with a shoulder injury sustained during the preseason.
The sixth-year pro will be added to a mix of quarterbacks that includes
"You can never have enough talent at the quarterback position on your roster, so when Mark became available we immediately became interested," said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. "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."
Sanchez, 27, established career highs in completion percentage (56.7), passing yards (3,474), passing touchdowns (26) and passer rating (78.2) while rushing for a franchise-record six touchdowns as a quarterback in 2011. Sanchez's six rushing touchdowns tied running back Shonn Greene for the team lead and stands as the second-most by a quarterback in team history. His 32 total touchdowns were tied for the sixth-most by NFL quarterbacks during the campaign, while his six touchdowns on the ground tied him with Tim Tebow for the second-most in the league. The six-year NFL veteran started 15 games for New York in 2012, throwing for 2,883 yards and 13 touchdowns.
In 2010, Sanchez started all 16 games while guiding the team to their second-consecutive AFC Championship Game, completing 278-of-507 passes for 3,291 yards and 17 touchdowns en route to a 75.3 quarterback rating. With a victory over the New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional Round (1/16/11), Sanchez tied quarterbacks Len Dawson, Jake Delhomme, Joe Flacco and Roger Staubach for the most road postseason wins as a starting quarterback in a career with four.
In his debut campaign, Sanchez set Jets rookie records for most passing yards (2,444) and most completions (196) in a season, and became the first rookie quarterback in team history to start the team's opening game. He helped lead New York to their first AFC Championship Game since 1998, starting all three postseason games while completing 41-of-68 passes (60.3 percent) for 539 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions and a 92.7 passer rating. In addition, he set a record for the longest play in Jets playoff history with an 80-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Braylon Edwards in the AFC Championship Game at Indianapolis (1/24/10).
A native of Mission Viejo, CA, Sanchez appeared in 27 games (16 starts) at Southern Cal and garnered first-team All-Pac 10 and honorable mention All-America honors in 2008 after leading the conference with 3,207 yards passing and 34 passing touchdowns – the then-second-highest total in school history.
Prior to his collegiate career, Sanchez attended Mission Viejo High School as a junior and senior, posting a 27-1 record as a starter. He was named the 2004 Parade All-American Player of the Year, completing 61.6 percent of his passes for 2,441 yards and 24 touchdowns with only four interceptions as a senior while leading his team to a CIF Division II title.