The Philadelphia Eagles are interested in signing free agent quarterback Mark Sanchez. Early Monday, reports stated that both the Eagles and the New York Giants were interested in his services, though both teams would obviously be bringing him in as a backup with no potential to start. Later in the day, reports suggested that Sanchez's next step would be to sign with the Eagles.
Sanchez was the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft and had some success starting for the New York Jets. He appeared in multiple AFC Championship Games, but could never get his team to the big game and also never posted particularly good statistics. He's always had very poor accuracy, never sniffing a 60 or higher completion percentage.
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SB Nation NFL
But Sanchez has a big arm and is capable of finding his receivers anywhere on the field. Most maintain that he simply needs a change of scenery at this point, since he has a lot of bad memories to shake off from his time with the Jets. The Eagles are an interesting choice, as Sanchez would not be guaranteed to be the No. 2 man behind Nick Foles.
That's because Philadelphia also has Matt Barkley, a second-year player with a high ceiling. Sanchez could easily be the third man behind Barkley, while he would almost certainly become Eli Manning's primary backup if he were to sign with the Giants. Regardless, Sanchez is 27 years old and seems to have solid value as a backup and someone who can keep Foles honest.
Here's what else you might have missed from Monday:
The NFL announced the compensatory picks for the 2014 NFL Draft. Thirteen different teams received a total of 32 picks based on departing free agents from the year before. The Pittsburgh Steelers earned the highest pick, the No. 33 pick in the third round -- 97th overall -- while three other teams also received third-round picks in the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. As to how picks are determined, the exact formula is unknown but it has to do with the caliber of player lost. For instance, the 49ers are surely getting a third-round selection due to the loss of Pro Bowl safety Dashon Goldson.
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is not in jeopardy of being cut or traded this season. The news comes from team owner Steve Bisciotti, who said that there's no circumstance where Rice is not with the team in 2014. Many thought that Rice's off-the-field issues, combined with a very lackluster 2013 season, could spell the end for the running back. Of course, this may not be the end of the discussion, via Baltimore Beat Down:
Standing behind Rice at this time won't hurt the organization as much from a general perspective. Sure, there will be those upset about the stance and they have plenty of valid points. But if anything surfaces later with the investigation, Bisciotti can always backtrack, condemn and say he didn't know it at the time of his comment.
If nothing materializes, then he and the organization stood by Rice and can now move forward. To me, this seems more like a tactical move, and one the organization probably felt was needed to make when presented with the question.
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor played better than most expected last season, but there's still little confidence in his abilities going forward, at least for the Oakland Raiders. That's why they traded for Matt Schaub, who has already been named the team's starting quarterback for 2014-15. Pryor will be relegated to a backup role, though he's still hoping that he has a shot at starting next season, and his agent has reportedly held discussions with the Raiders regarding a potential release. It's unlikely a team wants to give up something for Pryor, but him finding a new team on the open market sounds plausible. As to where he can actually compete for a starting role ... that's anyone's guess.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams cannot stay out of trouble. The veteran receiver was stabbed recently -- he's OK and has been released from the hospital -- but after word got out that his brother was the one who stabbed him, he is now saying that it happened accidentally during a wrestling match. We're not sure what kind of crazy bootleg wrestling organization Williams and his family have been watching, but it's worth noting that this is not the first of Williams' off-the-field issues.
For what it's worth, the Buccaneers would not incur that much damage if they released Williams, as noted by Bucs Nation:
Mike Williams is due a fully guaranteed $1.2 million this year, as well as a $600,000 roster bonus which has not hit yet. It's not clear whether that roster bonus is fully guaranteed, although Jason la Canfora says it is. If cut this year, the Bucs would owe the wide receiver just $1.8 million, which would also be his 2014 cap hit. The cap hit would turn into $0 if someone picked up his contract off the waiver wire, or lowered by whatever salary he'd be signed to on the open market if not claimed on waivers.
Given the team's vocal and public displeasure with Williams, it's certainly possible that they cut ties with the receiver -- even if the only thing he's done wrong in this case is get stabbed, as far as we can tell.
The league meetings are underway in Florida, which means the NFL will be discussing potential rule changes, among other things. One of the more significant rules would allow possession of a loose ball to be reviewable by officials. 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh is a fan of said rule, and it's not surprising one bit. The proposal has earned the nickname "the NaVorro Bowman rule," because Bowman seemed to recover possession of a loose ball in the NFC Championship against the Seattle Seahawks. It was a pivotal moment in the game and Bowman also sustained a serious injury on the play.
Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis was asked, once again, if the team is considering a move to Los Angeles and whether or not fans need to worry about the team moving there. He responded, after a few "awkward moments," that fans don't need to "at this time." In other words, they might have to do so later on. Davis has said that he wants the team to get something done with the city of Oakland, but if that is not possible, Los Angeles could be a tantalizing option.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler restructured his contract with the team on Monday to help save cap space. Chicago converted $5 million of Cutler's $22.5 million base salary into a signing bonus, creating $4 million in cap space. His cap hit for 2014 is still sizable, at $18.5 million, though that number is lower over the next four seasons. Chicago had a good deal of cap space to get the rookie class signed and all of that was done before this move was made, for what it's worth.
The Denver Broncos could still bring back running back Knowshon Moreno. Still a free agent, Moreno had an excellent 2013 campaign, but the NFL has been hesitant to give big contracts to running backs in general over the last few years. Moreno was a big part of Denver's record-setting offense last season, but it seems likely he's looking for more money than teams are willing to pay at this point. Moreno only has one reported visit this offseason, a trip to Miami.