Heading into training camp, Mark Sanchez was expected to be the Denver Broncos' starting quarterback this season. But now he's played himself out of a job. The Broncos have released Sanchez after they were unable to find a trade partner, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. They'll recoup his $4.5 million salary and the seventh-round draft pick they surrendered to the Philadelphia Eagles to acquire him earlier this year.
Sanchez didn't play at all in the Broncos' final two preseason games. In the crucial third game, Trevor Siemian handled the first half and rookie Paxton Lynch was in there for the second half. Lynch played all of the fourth game with Siemian prepping to start Week 1 of the regular season.
Sanchez, a seven-year veteran, went 20 of 30 for 219 yards and one touchdown as well as three turnovers (two fumbles, one interception) in game action this summer. He was sacked three times in the Broncos' loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Aug. 20, which was his last appearance with the team.
This is the latest setback for Sanchez, who's never been able to protect the football during his NFL career. He's thrown 86 touchdowns and 84 interceptions in 75 games.
The New York Jets drafted Sanchez, 29, with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft and immediately named him their starting quarterback. While his regular season numbers were abysmal -- 12 touchdowns and 20 picks -- he took the Jets to the AFC Championship that season. New York also qualified for the AFC Championship with Sanchez under center the following year.
But ever since the 2010 campaign, it's been all downhill for the former USC standout. He went 14-17 in his final two seasons as the Jets' starting quarterback before missing all of 2013 with a shoulder injury. The Eagles scooped up Sanchez on a one-year deal in 2014 before re-signing him to a two-year contract. He posted an 86.6 QB rating in Philadelphia, throwing for 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 13 games.
The Broncos have named Siemian the starting quarterback for now, though his inexperience may force a change down the line. Neither Siemian nor Lynch has lit it up this preseason, but both possess a higher ceiling than Sanchez. Not many teams have use for a QB who can't stop turning the ball over.