By Annie Ross
Now that Rams’ QB Sam Bradford is out for the season with a knee injury, it’s natural for Mark Sanchez’s name to come up as a replacement. Right?
Not right, according to Eagles’ back-up QB Sanchez who worked very well in Rams’ coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s offense when both were with the Jets..
If Sanchez has anything to say about it, there’s “no chance” he’d abandon his fresh start as a backup under coach Chip Kelly with the Eagles for a shot to rejoin Schottenheimer and play in St. Louis, a person with knowledge of Sanchez’s thinking told USA TODAY Sports on Sunday.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because any trade talks were to remain private.
At age 27, Sanchez has time to reboot his once-promising career. There’s no reason to rush into a situation like the one in St. Louis, where he’d be trying to get in rhythm with new teammates at the same time the Rams are preparing for a season opener that’s just two weeks away.
Sanchez played some of his best football under Schottenheimer. But Sanchez’s regression during the 2011 season, in which the Jets finished 29th in total offense, was a big reason the team and Schottenheimer parted ways. And though Sanchez couldn’t block a trade, dealing assets for a short-term fix who doesn’t want to be there doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Plus, the Eagles know the value of a backup quarterback – current starter Nick Foles began as one behind Michael Vick last season – and wouldn’t give up Sanchez for cheap, given his strong play in the preseason. His modest $2.25 million price tag on a one-year contract is a relative bargain as an insurance policy even if Foles stays healthy.
It’s not out of the question Sanchez plays this season in Philly, one way or another. In three exhibition games, he is 25-of-31 passing (80.6%) for 281 yards with two touchdowns, an interception and a 112.5 passer rating. Foles still has two years left on his rookie contract, giving Kelly time to sort out his long-term plan.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher told reporters there have been no trade talks yet and the plan is to roll with the guys who know the system: Shaun Hill, the 34-year-old career backup who replaces Bradford atop the depth chart, and third-year pro Austin Davis. The Rams also have rookie sixth-round pick Garrett Gilbert on the roster.
Sanchez knows Schottenheimer’s system, too. But even if the Rams were interested, it seems highly unlikely a reunion is in the cards.