Former Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez has agreed to terms with the Eagles on a new deal and will officially sign with them Thursday, according to a source. Sanchez was pursued by several teams since being released by the Jets ahead of a large bonus payment that was due.
Sanchez was a 2009 first-round pick of the Jets, who moved up to land him. He reached consecutive AFC Championship Games and was rewarded with a lucrative new contract, with significant guarantees, that bound him to the team through 2013.
Sanchez struggled in 2012 and new GM John Idzik took Geno Smith in the second round last year. Sanchez was injured in the preseason and never took a snap with the Jets last season. Following his release, the Rams, Eagles and other teams pursued him, but the chance to work with Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly, a quarterback and offensive wizard, was significant.
Kelly is familiar with Sanchez from their time in the Pac-10 and he drafted a USC quarterback, Matt Barkely last year, though Barkley is very raw. Sanchez backs up another Pac-12 QB in Nick Foles, who started last season for the Eagles, while Michael Vick, who lost his job to Foles in Philly, signed recently in Sanchez's former spot with the Jets.
The development of Smith and Foles' ability to duplicate his surprising success from a year ago will go a long way to dictating how much Sanchez and Vick play in 2014.