According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, recently released Quarterback Mark Sanchez may be an option for the Cleveland Browns. The former New York Jets QB was released on Friday (March 21st) to make way for newly signed QB Michael Vick. Sanchez, once considered the Jets’ franchise quarterback after taking his team to back-to-back playoff appearances in his first two seasons has hit rock bottom, and that tail spin has only accelerated since the infamous ‘butt-fumble‘. The final straw for the Jets’ front office was the over bloated 3-year $40.475 million extension Sanchez signed in 2012, which includes a $2 million roster bonus due March 25th. In Florio’s article he points out that “In late January, an unnamed coach told Brian Costello of the New York Post that, if/when the Jets’ cut Sanchez, he would be welcome in the unnamed coach’s locker room”. Florio does point out that at the time of the Costello article the Browns’ had not yet hired a head coach, so the Browns’ were not the source of the Sanchez comment. However, Florio does suggest that the Browns’ would be an ideal landing spot, he even says “It’s obvious that Sanchez would instantly be installed as the No. 1 quarterback for the Browns, by default”. Florio does follow that statement with “Sure, Sanchez could be supplanted once Brian Hoyer becomes healthy or if/when a rookie is selected with the fourth overall pick”. Regardless, the Browns could be the first team to phone Sanchez, now that he’s available.”
Granted Sanchez does have a large body of work and a given track record with his 33-29 in four seasons as the Jets’ starter and four road playoff wins, compared to Hoyer’s 2-0 record as starter which ended with a knee injury in only his third start. You just never know what Sanchez your going to see on any given Sunday, and the Browns’ desperately need to see consistency from the QB position. It’s much more logical to think that the Browns’ front office will pass on Sanchez and go for a true veteran who has experience with this new regime…QB Rex Grossman. Grossman spent 2010-2013 with the Washington Redskins under offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who was hired for the same post with the Browns’ in February. Shanahan will definitely want a QB who understands his scheme and can step-in and play the mentor role for a rookie quarterback, which he did with the Redskins’ when they draft both Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft. The only question left to ask is, if the Browns’ sign a veteran like Grossman will he be able to push Hoyer in camp? It’s an old cliché that still holds true, but a health competition in camp does help elevate a player’s performance on the field. I’m not sure that Grossman will be viewed by the fans as a legitimate contender for the starting position and there is a real apprehension to just hand the starting gig over to a QB based on performance in two games. If I were a betting man look for the Browns’ to sign a veteran, draft a rookie, and perhaps bring in one other free agent QB to compete with Hoyer. I am of the opinion that Hoyer will in fact win a competition in camp and the odd man out will be cut before the start of the season.