Former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is retiring from the NFL, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.
Sanchez pieced an eight-year professional career most notably with the Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington Redskins. But he’ll forever be remembered for his four-year stint at the Meadowlands.
Coming out of USC in 2009, the Jets traded up for the No. 5 pick in the draft to take Sanchez with hopes of developing him as the next franchise quarterback following a one-year experiment with Brett Favre.
Sanchez’s ceiling was sky-high after starting just one year at USC, throwing for 3,207 yards with 34 touchdowns that ended with a Rose Bowl victory over Penn State.
Upon his arrival to the NFL, he went 19-12 as a starter in his first two seasons, leading the Jets to consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances. They would come up short both times, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts.
Granted there were plenty of concerns surrounding his game, most notably his accuracy. Over four years with the Jets, Sanchez completed just over 55-percent of his passes while throwing 69 interceptions compared to 68 touchdowns.
Sanchez will best be remembered for “The Butt Fumble” during a Nov. 2012 game against the New England Patriots. On a broken play that saw Sanchez face the wrong way on a hand-off, the quarterback ran into the back of his offensive lineman and the lost the ball. Patriots safety Steve Gregory scooped up the ball and went in for the score to give New England a 21-0 lead.
His struggles headlined the Jets’ descent back to mediocrity over the following two seasons before the franchise moved on from him.
The Jets drafted Geno Smith in 2013 and made him the starter after Sanchez went down with a season-ending shoulder injury during the preseason. They cut him in 2014.
He was picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles where he started 10 games over two seasons. Eight of them came in 2014 after Nick Foles went down with an injury. Sanchez performed admirably, going 4-4 while throwing for 2,418 yards with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Brief back-up stints followed with the Denver Broncos, Cowboys, Chicago Bears, and most recently the Redskins before calling it quits.
Per Marchand, Sanchez will join ESPN as a college football analyst starting this season.