ORLANDO, Fla. - If the Mark Sanchez-for-Michael Vick "trade" does eventually take place, then Eagles coach Chip Kelly is happy to be getting a quarterback with four years of experience as an NFL starter.
After Vick, the former Eagles starter, signed with the Jets last Friday, reports surfaced that Philadelphia was set to sign Sanchez, who was released by the Jets shortly after they signed Vick.
The former Jets quarterback already is in Philly, according to a source, and is scheduled to meet with the team and undergo his physical Thursday. And if his medical evaluation checks out, the Eagles are expected to sign him.
Sanchez missed all of last season after suffering a torn labrum in his right (throwing) shoulder in the preseason.
While not confirming the Eagles would sign Sanchez, Kelly had positive things to say about the former first-round pick.
"I think Mark's a very, very good athlete," Kelly said at an NFC coaches breakfast at the NFL owners meetings. "He's started 60 some-odd games in this league . He's got great experience. There's a lot of positive qualities to him."
Whether another of Kelly's players goes to the Jets remains to be seen; the Eagles coach declined to say definitively that wide receiver DeSean Jackson would be on the team's roster this season, fueling continued speculation he might be traded. The Jets have expressed an interest.
"I like DeSean. He did a really nice job for us," Kelly said. "But we're always going to do what's best for the organization."
Jets owner Woody Johnson said on Monday the team had interest in Jackson, although he indicated that the team didn't appear inclined to make a trade for him. If Jackson were to be released and become a free agent, the Jets could make a move to sign him.
Meanwhile, Sanchez got a vote of confidence from another NFL coach, as Pete Carroll, who coached Sanchez at USC, said he's delighted to see his former quarterback get a fresh start.
"I think it will be good for him. It's time for Mark to get going again and get off to a new start and I'm really pleased for him for that opportunity," Carroll said. "I think he's going to do very well."
Carroll said Sanchez "really wanted" to stay with the Jets, and he "did everything he could to help the team as much as possible, so it is somewhat frustrating for Mark, I know. But he's really ready for the next opportunity, the next challenge."
Can Sanchez still be a starter? "Sure, he could," Carroll said. "He's proven it. He's a really good football player."
Carroll said he would have been interested in signing Sanchez if there was an opening on his team. But the coach, who is coming off a Super Bowl championship with Russell Wilson as his starter, is set at the position.