Mark Sanchez had an interesting career with the Jets, to say the least. Over 62 career regular season games, Sanchez has a 33-29 record and has thrown for 12,092 yards with 68 touchdowns and 69 interceptions. He also had a 4-2 record in the postseason, where he completed 60.5% of his passes and tossed an impressive nine touchdowns compared to just three interceptions.
Here's a look at some of the best and worst moments in Sanchez's career with Gang Green.
April 25, 2009
The Jets selected USC quarterback Mark Sanchez with the No. 5 pick in the NFL draft, acquired from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for the Jets’ 2009 first and second-round draft picks, Kenyon Coleman, Abram Elam and Brett Ratliff. Sanchez signed a five-year, $44.5 million contract on June 10, which included $28 million in guaranteed money. With incentives, the total value of the deal could have increased to $60 million.
Sept. 13, 2009
The Jets defeated the Houston Texans as Sanchez earned his first NFL victory in his debut. He threw for 272 yards, including a 30-yard pass to Chansi Stuckey for his first career touchdown.
Oct. 25, 2009
During a 38-0 rout of the Raiders, Sanchez was seen eating a hot dog on the sidelines. “I wasn’t feeling very good and didn’t eat much before the game, so I was feeling a little queasy,” Sanchez said later. “Toward the end of the game, I probably should have eaten one of those bars or something, but someone offered [a hot dog], so I grabbed it and tried to be discreet about it, but obviously not discreet enough.”
Jan. 17, 2010
After road playoff victories against the Cincinnati Bengals and San Diego Chargers, Sanchez became just the second rookie quarterback to win two consecutive playoff games. The Jets lost in the AFC Championship Game to the Indianapolis Colts, 30-17, a week later.
Nov. 21, 2010
Sanchez, who threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns, led the Jets to a 30-27 victory over the Texans for his first fourth quarter comeback and game winning drive at home. He finished the regular season with three fourth quarter comebacks and five game winning drives.
Jan. 08, 2011
One year after losing to them in the AFC Championship Game, the Jets stormed into Indianapolis and stunned the Colts, 17-16, with a fourth quarter comeback, capped by Nick Folk’s game-winning field goal as time expired. The win put the Jets in the AFC Championship Game again, where they would eventually fall to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 24-19.
July 27, 2011
The Jets officially named Sanchez as team captain. "I see the way the guys are around him and things, this is really going to be his team," coach Rex Ryan said at the time. "I'm not big on giving out those captain things ... but we will put the ‘C’ on his jersey this year because he truly is our captain."
Nov. 27, 2011
Sanchez threw for a career-high four touchdowns in a 28-24 victory over the Bills. This stands as the only time that Sanchez accomplished the feat.
Dec. 21, 2011
The New York Post first reported that Sanchez was dating supermodel Kate Upton. “I met him. My sister works for the Jets. She’s been working there for four years, so I went to all the games,” Upton revealed on the Feb. 17 episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” “Yeah, he is cute.”
Jan. 1, 2012
The Jets lost to the Dolphins, 19-17, and were officially eliminated from playoff contention after ending the season on a three-game losing streak. Sanchez threw five touchdowns and seven interceptions during that stretch.
March 21, 2012
Despite Sanchez posting career highs in passing yards (3,474) and touchdown passes (26), the Jets traded 2012 fourth- and sixth-round draft picks to the Denver Broncos in exchange for quarterback Tim Tebow and a seventh-round pick. Tebow led the Broncos to a postseason victory over the Steelers two months earlier.
Sept. 30, 2012
The Jets were blanked at home, 34-0, by the 49ers. Sanchez was just 13-of-29 passing for 103 yards and an interception. The Jets never recovered from this loss and dropped four of their next five games, falling to 3-6. Sanchez only averaged 191.6 passing yards per game during this stretch.
Oct. 23, 2012
Actress Eva Longoria dumped Sanchez after three months of dating. “Mark adores and respects Eva,” Sanchez’s spokesman told US Weekly at the time. “It really was about scheduling more than anything. They will remain close friends.”
Nov. 22, 2012
An embarrassing 49-19 loss to the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving night was compounded by the infamous “butt fumble.” After running into Jets offensive lineman Brandon Moore’s rear end, Sanchez lost the football, which was then returned for a touchdown by the Patriots.
April 26, 2013
The Jets drafted quarterback Geno Smith in the second round (39th overall) of the NFL draft, signaling a willingness by the team to move on from Sanchez.
Aug. 24, 2013
After entering a preseason game against the Giants in the fourth quarter, Sanchez injured his right shoulder after taking a hit from defensive lineman Marvin Austin. Dr. James Andrews confirmed a diagnosis of a torn labrum a few weeks later.
Oct. 8, 2013
After rehabbing for seven weeks, Sanchez finally underwent shoulder surgery. The Jets had placed him on the short-term injured reserve on Sept. 14, but the operation effectively ended his season. On his recovery, Sanchez said, “All doctors expect a full recovery and I look forward to getting back on the field. Until then, go Jets!”
March 21, 2014
As expected, the Jets released Sanchez four days before he would have been paid a $2 million roster bonus. The move was also made to make room for the signing of Michael Vick, who will compete with Smith for the Jets starting quarterback job. “I’d like to thank Mark for everything he’s done for this team and me personally,” Ryan said. “We were rookies together and had some early success. ... We experienced a lot together and I really appreciate Mark.”