Could Sanchez and/or McFadden be trade possibilities?

Quarterbacks receive too much credit when the team wins, and too much blame when the team loses. Mark Sanchez's first 3 years are a monument to this truism.

Written by Kip Earlywine

Every now and then, Rob and I are privy to some insider Seahawks information from a proven and reliable source.  In the case of the Carson Palmer trade which Rob reported last year, he decided to go public with that information after confirming it with two NFL sources- but its worth noting that neither of those sources was our usual guy, and when Rob asked him about it, he never confirmed or denied what we had been hearing about talks between Cincy and Seattle last year.  I personally think there really was something there with Palmer, but because then first-place Oakland got desperate and overpaid after Campbell went down last year, we’ll never really know how accurate the information really was.  I bring this up because I want to defend the credibility of our source, who had nothing to do with that report- even if it ends up being true.  Pretty much every piece of information the source has given us has more or less been proven later.

This source has recently been in contact with Rob, who in turn has relayed some information to me.  Obviously, Rob and I are Seahawks fans first and we understand the importance of information warfare this time of year.  A lot of the stuff we have been told could do real damage to Seattle’s offseason plan if we carelessly leaked it.  But that said, we do have some insider knowledge.  Let me say right now that a Mark Sanchez trade is NOT a part of that.  We have no confirmation or denial that a Sanchez deal is in the works to Seattle, based on what we’ve heard.  However, Rob and I both feel that it is a significant possibility regardless, and worth discussing on the blog since obviously it would impact both Seattle’s search for a quarterback and the draft picks they’d have at their disposal in April.  Again, this is all speculative.  This is not a scoop.

Anyway, the last couple months have been pretty interesting for the Jets, to say the least.  They lost their last 3 games of the season to finish 8-8 after entering the season with high expectations.  Rex Ryan stripped his team captains of their leadership titles.  The Jets’ locker room became a poisonous caldron that could scarcely contain itself.  Jets receiver Plaxico Burress took what could be considered a passive aggressive swipe at his quarterback at an autograph session.  Reports of a feud between Santonio Holmes and Mark Sanchez were laid bare by LaDainian Tomlinson on a recent television appearance, though in fairness to Sanchez, many other sources have painted Holmes as a bit of a headcase in 2011.  I won’t repost the entire Tomlinson article above but here are some parts of it that I found revealing:

The Sanchez-Holmes rift was “as bad as I’ve ever been around,” LaDainian Tomlinson revealed in a television interview.  Tomlinson, the latest player to characterize the dissension-torn locker room as The Florham Park Zoo, said he’s not sure if Sanchez and Holmes can co-exist. The future Hall of Famer claimed the locker-room problems “got out of hand” toward the end of the season, adding that coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum fueled the mentality because they like players that speak their mind.

“You know, it was at the point where I think the players could no longer do anything about it. There was nothing that the players could do. So when it gets to that point, there are certain changes that need to happen. Can it be fixed? I think absolutely it can be. But they’re going to have to make some tough decisions.”  If he were the GM, Tomlinson said it would be a “tough one,” the decision on whether to keep Sanchez and Holmes together.

Tomlinson, reiterating what he said last Sunday on ESPN’s NFL Countdown, refuted a claim by one unnamed player telling the New York Daily News that Sanchez is “lazy.” But he did say the Jets need a backup to push him.

“I would say a bit pampered because he has no competition,” Tomlinson said. “He has no real threat to say, ‘This guy may take my job.'”

Tomlinson said Sanchez can overcome the turmoil, but “he just has to have pieces around him to help him get it done.”

The New York Daily News interviewed several Jets players and a “Jets source” last month, and some of the findings were rather shocking.  The “Jets source” did not seem negative towards Sanchez, but also made it clear that he would happily ditch Sanchez in a New York minute for Peyton Manning, even saying it was a “no-brainer” and that it would be “stupid” for the team to avoid trying for Manning.  Among players interviewed, the tone was almost universally negative towards Sanchez.  Not everything the players said is on the level- for example one player accused Sanchez of being “lazy” which has been widely disputed elsewhere.  It doesn’t take much time to read the expose, but in case you decide to skip it, there is one part that really jumps out to me:

Some in the organization told The News that many of Sanchez’s teammates have grown resentful [of Sanchez] for myriad reasons.

“They see the organization babying him,” said a Jets source. “They see him with a sense of entitlement. He’s been given all this and hasn’t done anything. They call him ‘San-chise.’ They make him the face of the organization. They gave him the captain tag. He’s not a captain. He should have never been a captain.”

None of the players who spoke to the Daily News for this story agreed with Ryan’s decision to anoint Sanchez as a captain.

It should be clear at this point that the Jets badly want to win the Manning sweepstakes and have both Manning brothers in New York.  Most league observers consider this unlikely.  However, given how incredibly damaged Mark Sanchez has become among Jets fans and players in his own locker room, it seems very plausible that Sanchez’s days in New York could be numbered regardless.  From perusing a few Jets fan sites, I get the impression that Jets fans are receptive to the idea of getting what they can for Sanchez and moving on, whether they get Manning or not.  And as highlighted above by Tomlinson, its unclear if Sanchez and Holmes can coexist in 2012.

That’s significant because Holmes signed a five year, $45 million deal just before last season, and he was owed a $7.5 million roster bonus of sorts yesterday, meaning that if the Jets cut Holmes now, they will be $7.5 million poorer than if they had cut him on Tuesday.  If the Jets were to side with Sanchez in their dispute and jettison Holmes, this would have been the time to do it.  The deadline came and went.  Holmes will now officially remain a Jets player in 2012.

Woody Johnson, owner of the most unfortunate name in history and also the New York Jets, set up a rather suspiciously timed face to face meeting with Sanchez- set for just after that Holmes deadline.  As Tomlinson alluded to, keeping both Sanchez and Holmes would be difficult; tough decisions will have to be made.  It seems distinctly possible that New York could be considering an early exit from the Sanchez era.  Even if Sanchez and Holmes mend fences, which both he and Holmes are attempting but seems unlikely, there is also the fact that Sanchez has a large amount of antipathy in his own locker room.  It could be an environment poisoned beyond repair.  A change of scenery might be necessary for both parties, and soon.  Regardless of whether Manning is signed by the Jets or not.

If the Jets are looking to trade Sanchez, it seems unlikely he’d get a huge return.  Sanchez’s image is pretty damaged around the league- fairly or not- and consensus (from my own research) seems to indicate that he would command something like a 3rd or 4th round pick in a deal.  Jets fans I’ve encountered seem pretty receptive to the idea of trading Sanchez and getting something for him now instead of potentially nothing later, and dealing Sanchez would also have the side benefit of taking them off the hook for his $14.2 million salary cap number in 2012.  Sanchez posted mediocre (though improved) statistics in 2011, and could be easily replaced by someone like David Garrard, Kyle Orton, or Jason Campbell without feeling much- if any- short term pain.  Dealing Sanchez quickly could also increase the Jets slim chances of landing Manning, and they are expected to at least try for his services.

If Sanchez is dealt, and it increasingly appears this could be a very real possibility, there is no more obvious destination in the NFL than Seattle.  Regardless of our personal opinions on Sanchez, he clearly fits the high upside low cost “value” acquisition Seattle has frequently targeted under this regime.  Guys like Mike Williams, Leon Washington, LenDale White, Kentwan Balmer, Marshawn Lynch, and Brandon Browner.  A lot of Sanchez’s problems could be cured with a change of scenery, being forced to compete for his job, having better teammates around him (both as players and as people), and being part of an environment that is friendly but also stresses accountability.  As we saw with White, Carroll holds his former USC players to the same standard as everyone else.  Playing as far away as possible from the New York media would probably help too.

Pete Carroll commented recently that he wants there to be a real competition at quarterback in 2012.  If all goes to plan, we won’t see a repeat of last year where Jackson was the unquestioned starter from day one.  Making this goal reality is harder than it seems though.  It would be difficult to achieve true competition through any rookie other than Luck or RG3, and as we understand things, the odds of either being a Seahawk next year are extremely slim.  Cousins and Weeden are NFL ready relative to most mid round quarterbacks, but its doubtful they would provide much of a threat to Jackson in August of 2012.  To make this statement a reality, they would probably need to add a veteran who is roughly the same caliber of quarterback as Jackson.  Orton, Campbell, and Garrard could be options, but Seattle showed no interest in either Garrard or Orton when they were free agents during last season, and the team made no effort to trade for Campbell which is saying something since the Raiders acquired him for pennies on the dollar from the Redskins.

Mark Sanchez has slightly improved every season, and last year, his overall statistics were pretty close to Jackson’s.  Their passer ratings were within a point of each other (78.2 vs. 79.2).  Jackson posted a significantly higher yards per attempt, (6.9 vs. 6.4), but its worth noting that Sanchez’s YPA was fairly robust early in the season before issues with his receivers developed.  Only 50% of Sanchez’s attempts to Holmes were completed (worst in the NFL among pairings with 100+ attempts).  While I would give the statistical edge to Jackson last year, you kind of got the feeling that Jackson was near his ceiling as a quarterback (at least mentally), and Sanchez is still improving despite having a ton of distractions and problems in 2011.

Further, Jackson was playing a game manager role whereas the Jets leaned on Sanchez to be a playmaker.  Sanchez had a 26-18 TD/INT ratio last year compared to a 14/13 ratio for Jackson.  It could be that Sanchez could benefit from playing in a less demanding game manger role in much the same way that Jackson did in 2011.

It should be noted that while Jackson was a very poor quarterback in the red zone last year, Mark Sanchez was the NFL’s 5th best red zone quarterback and led the Jets to the NFL’s #1 overall red zone offense, despite the fact that the Jets overall offense ranked just 25th.  Having a quarterback who isn’t afraid to make tight throws could help Williams and Obomanu bounce back after both felt the loss of Hasselbeck last season.

While it no longer seems that Sanchez is a sure-fire franchise quarterback, it is at least credible to say that he’d provide a very real challenge in August for Tarvaris Jackson, much more of a challenge than a mid round quarterback like Cousins or Weeden.  Its also possible that a change of scenery, a reunion with his old coach, and the motivation of having to “earn everything” (one of Pete’s slogans in Seattle) could help Sanchez blossom into a solidly above average quarterback.  And even if a Sanchez acquisition fairs no better than the acquisitions of Balmer or White, the Seahawks will have likely lost less in that deal than what they lost in Charlie Whitehurst, who to me was a far inferior gamble then compared to Sanchez now.

Finally, its worth noting that connections matter to this front office.  The team very nearly signed Matt Leinart last summer before he opted to play for the Texans.  Multiple sources told us that Seattle was involved in talks with Cincy regarding Carson Palmer.  The team signed Tarvaris Jackson in large part because of his connections to new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.  Even Josh Portis had some connections to Pete Carroll through his college offensive coordinator Walt Harris, whom Portis credits for developing him into a point guard quarterback.  Harris and Carroll worked together while in New York and both held coaching positions in the Pac-10 for a time.

There are three possible hangups to a deal.  The first is salary.  Sanchez is basically on a 2 year, $22 million contract and that would certainly have to be restructured.

The second issue is Carroll himself- has Pete Carroll forgiven Mark Sanchez for leaving USC early?  The normally positive and upbeat Carroll was visibly upset with Sanchez for the decision to go pro in 2009, after Carroll worked hard to convince Sanchez into staying.  Rob recently reached out to Scott Enyeart (a USC beat writer who also follows the Seahawks) and Enyeart mentioned that Sanchez was never as close with Carroll as he was with Steve Sarkisian and that the relationship between the two was fractured possibly beyond repair when Sanchez declared.

The third issue are the reports of the Jets cancerous locker room- how much of that is Mark Sanchez’s fault?  From the reports I have read, Sanchez comes across as a hard worker and a dedicated teammate, and I get the feeling that much of the discord is simply a bi-product of adversity coupled with a few big egos which have been poorly managed by the coaching staff- which is never a good combination.  Regardless, this is certainly something that would require looking into.

From the Jets’ side of things, they have given zero indication that they would trade Sanchez up to this point, but with the start of trade and free agency still five weeks away, it would be shocking to hear them say anything else, as it would invite an intense media storm at a time when the Jets can least afford it.

Is Darren McFadden on the trading block?

Oakland is entering the post Al Davis era in perhaps the most painful way possible.  The team’s new GM wants to install a west coast offense and a zone blocking running game, but the team is roughly $15-$20 million over the salary cap and only has only a 5th and 6th round pick to spend in the 2012 draft.  Despite the fact that Michael Bush is expected to leave in free agency, rumors are surfacing that Oakland could look to use star running back and former #4 overall pick Darren McFadden as a 2012 trade chip.  Trading McFadden wouldn’t just add some desperately needed draft capital, it would free them from the last two years of a 6 year, $60 million contract he signed in 2008.  McFadden was the first draft pick by the Raiders during Tom Cable’s turn at head coach.

Its not completely clear if Cable and McFadden would have mutual interest in reuniting though.  McFadden struggled in Cable’s version of zone blocking scheme and did much better after Cable left.  Still, McFadden is a very talented running back who could interest Seattle as a “value” acquisition, depending on what Oakland’s asking price ends up being.  I think Seattle would probably prefer to draft a running back instead, but its not out of the question that they could pursue a veteran to bolster the running game- if they feel the price is right.


  1. Karlos

    If the Jets asking price is anything under a 2nd round pick do it but without a fall back option in place I can’t see this happening. These are grown men albeit they sometimes act as kids they are professionals. I was glowing with every bit of chance that this could happen until you dug the skeleton of Pete & Sanchez’s USC days together. Though they’ve had a rough past they could both help eachother out should an option like this come available but HIS CONTRACT HAS TO BE RESTRUCTURED.

    On Run DMC no. no, no thats a drama filled situation waiting to happen. Were not desperate for a RB yet & even if we were who knows if McFadden would restructure? I’d rather take my chances using a pick on a dark horse RB & it’s high ratio for turning out productive players.

  2. woofu

    Danny Woodhead once played for Woody Johnson and nobody said a word, fortunately.

  3. Ciaran

    I wouldn’t be happy with either move. Even if the price was a 4th for Sanchez, putting him in play would just seem to justify not investing significant capital into a QB that could help this team win Championships for another year or two. I don’t think he’s going to develop into much more than he is now, and his mentality is at least a minor contributing factor that led to the most dysfunctional locker room in the NFL.

    As for DMC, I don’t think they’ll deal him for less than a 2nd rounder. Seems like a headache to give away a premium draft pick and try to re-negotiate his contract when we can just re-sign Lynch and add a RB whenever we see fit in the draft.

    By the way, I just wanted to say I appreciate the discretion you use when quoting sources. I’ve been reading the blog for a long time, and with some of the information you’ve received it would be very easy to try and create more page views with more sensational headlines. You deserve credit for keeping things very professional when sharing information

  4. Peter

    Nice write-up Kip.

    I personally felt that Sanchez and Curry were two good, but not great players getting way over drafted at the time. Nothing really sparked when I watched either one. Now we jettisoned one and they may do the same to the other. I hope we don’t pick up Sanchez for any price. Sanchez to me is just a guy who found himself in a massive market. Football is so strange how bad coaches, bad co-ordinators, and fair to middling players continue to get chances when there could be talent waiting somewhere else, you just have to look and try to find it.

    I do hope this year there is a real competition for QB. Nothing against TJax since he seems like a well mannered guy, but look at that TD to INT ratio above. Ughhh. Bring in Cousins, and Osweiler, or Cousins, and Coleman, and really let it rip. Tjax has the relationship with Bevell and the recievers (nominally) Portis ahs the year of practice, so you think they woul dhave a leg up. But either way make it fair and as real as possible. That’s all.

  5. Doug

    +1 on discretion

    I’ve never been big on Sanchez, I think it’s because he emits too much swag, without the game to back it up. I don’t know if he has it in him to eat a big ol’ slice of humble pie and come back down to earth. I think he has been pampered for so long he might have difficulty with accepting his “come-uppens”, and if you are not sure what that phrase means, you need to see an old movie, look it up. Basically, it means that mind shift you get when life kicks your a$$ after you’ve thought you had the tiger by the tail, but suddenly you find that you are actually a piece of crap. Then you start over, with a new appreciation for even the small things. He really hasn’t been very good at being a big shot, and sometimes getting the stool kicked out from under you is just what the doctor ordered in order to become who you really are. This usually happens in a very sudden moment, when then reality finally pierces your thick skull of self-admiration. I recall my moment to this day, and it forever changes you with it’s sobering truth.
    But Sanchez is still quite young and immature, and even with a trade, he may still see himself as the victim in the Jets debacle, and then bring his cancer along with him here…
    I love McFaddens speed, but I know very little about him, or his ego/baggage that he may or may not carry. But, he is a threat every time he touches the rock, and would be a serious counterpoint to Beast that would be very very frightening to other teams.

    I love the trade scenarios and FA time, this is where some great things happen, but also where damage can be done by getting big names. It has been proven that a player can’t repeat his game in different schemes, so finding players that will blend is even more important that just getting big names…

    Can’t wait!

  6. MeatWad

    I agree with Ciaran in saying I appreciate the discretion as well. I do disagree about Sanchez. I am not a fan, but he is young and to say he won’t develop into anything more does not seem accurate. I think managment within the Jets is poor and not a place for a young QB to grow and be successful. The comment made by LT that Sanchez lacks competition is another reason why he can develop further. Give Sanchez a healthy team, players surronding him, and coaches there is no reason to not believe Sanchez can improve much more than his play the past couple years. Will he be an ‘elite’ QB, probably not. A 4th round pick for him is a steal because unlike Whitehurst you have a decent idea of what you are getting and look at other options in the draft within 3-5th rounds. If the Hawks give up a 3rd or a 4th that doesn’t mean they stop looking for ‘their’ QB. The search will continue, as it should.

    RUN DMC, don’t see it happening. At all. Would love some Ray Rice up in here! I will echo other comments and the Hawks need to draft a RB and there is a good selection to pick from.

  7. MeatWad

    Wanted to reitterate, I am not a fan of Sanchez, but the idea of getting him for cheap, adding another draft pick like Osweiler, and the competition is sweet. TJack won’t be a Seahawk after this season and that makes sense to not only pick up a FA/trade, but to draft another QB. Portis, Sanchez, TJack, Osweiler this year. Does not sound bad to me at all.

  8. Doug

    It has been proven that a player can’t ALWAYS repeat his game with other teams, I meant to say. Sometimes they do, but it’s not a guarentee is what I was trying to say…

  9. Jeff M.

    Looking at Football Outsiders advanced stats, in 2011 T-Jack was 20th in DYAR (total value) and 23rd in DVOA (per-play value). Sanchez was 26th and 28th.

    In 2010 Sanchez was 18th in DYAR and 28th in DVOA, while Jackson essentially didn’t play (but put up really bad numbers when he did).

    In 2009 Sanchez was 38th in DYAR and 35th in DVOA, while Jackson looked really good in very limited snaps.

    In 2008 (Jackson’s last significant playing time before the Seahawks), T-Jack was 25th in DYAR and 17th in DVOA.

    There’s essentially no evidence that Sanchez has performed better than (or even as good as) Jackson so far. Unless you believe he’ll make a major leap forward, Sanchez is firmly entrenched as a bottom-of-the-barrel starting QB. Jackson’s production lays somewhere between that and mediocre/league-average.

    Neither one looks like they’ve got what it takes to get us to the Super Bowl (in fact, neither even shows Jason Campbell/Carson Palmer/David Garrard-type upside). Absent Peyton Manning coming here, it really looks like getting a franchise QB needs to be a matter of developing a young guy (either a draft pick or someone like Flynn), not signing a mid-career guy whose current team is justifiably searching for an upgrade.

  10. Christon

    Great article Kip.

    I’m not big on Sanchez myself and would prefer to go “all-in” next year with Matt Barkley. However, Barkley is a likely #1 pick so that may not be possible. If Seattle could negotiate a new discounted contract with Sanchez for about three years and only give up a third or fourth rounder – I would be fine with that. They really need to do something at the QB position rather then just handing the reigns back to T-Jack next year and Sanchez does have more potential in a new system (immediately and long-term) then Jason Campbell or a mid-round flyer QB like Kirk Cousins.

    It’s exciting to think about. Thanks again, Kip!

  11. hazbro

    Do you honestly think the name Woody Johnson is worse than Dick Trickle?

  12. Colin

    Sanchez is a cancer. I think he is largely responsible for the locker room problems. Good QB’s simply don’t tolerate that. He seems like a free going guy, a sort of “oh let’s just sweep that issue under the rug and move on”. It doesn’t help that he went to the University of Spoiled Children and was glorified there and immediately deemed a stud before he ever did anything at this level.

    That said, he did beat a 13-3 Chargers team in the playoffs and a 14-2 Pats team. On the road. Something to be said for that.

    I can’t see Pete going out of his way to bring him in. I also can’t see Pete and John standing idly by at QB this offseason. You know they are well aware of Jackson’s limitations. They’ve made it no secret that when they want to address a certain area on this team, they are going to do so.

  13. TAD

    Why aren’t we talking about Josh Portis. His pre-season play seemed to suggest he’s got latent potential. Let him marinate another couple of years, keep Jackson, and bring in a vet (possibly Sanchez), to com-PETE. Don’t give Sanchez more than 2 years and have it performance laden and group Portis who looks like a young Randall Cunningham!

  14. Robert

    Yikes. Why give up a ransom for McFadden when it’s clear at this point that the guy is injury prone? Lynch is far more durable and dependable. It makes far more sense to re-up Lynch, draft a backup/complement in the 2nd/3rd/4th/5th, and strengthen other weakness on this team than it does to jettison draft picks for McFadden. Sure, when healthy, McFadden is an elite talent. But, he’s been hurt more than healthy and it’s not because of bad luck. Getting hurt is what he does best after 4 years in the league.

    Sanchez would be a bummer as well. At this point it’s clear he has a ceiling. He’s had a great D, great WRs, and a great running game and he still can’t put up serviceable numbers. Yes, he’s not being asked to do much…but doesn’t that speak volumes? He’s not asked to do much because he can’t do much. Next!

  15. Joe


    Read an interesting post today on a forum where a member was claiming to have inside knowledge about Seattle possibly acquiring Christian Ponder from the Vikings for a 2nd round pick. The poster said this was dependent on RG3 being available at the 3 spot.

    It would seem to make sense for both teams, which makes me think this rumor has legs.

    My question is, can you see something like this happening?

  16. williambryan

    Trading for McFadden makes perfect sense on so many levels. 1, he was the best RB in football before he got injured. 2, There is no given that Lynch will sign long term. 3, Lynch isn’t exactly injury free himself, his back issue scares the crap out of me. Why spend a 3rd round pick on a backup RB who may or may not turn out to be good when you can spend that on a proven and still young RB in Mcfadden.

  17. Cody

    Hmm…. At first I was hesitant about sanchez, but after thinking about it I think it would be a good move. Especially after seeing the red zone stat. Thats exactly what we need, is a quarterback who can score in the redzone and step up in the 4th. Sanchez dies that. Then that leaves a possible upshaw/spence in the first two rounds to team up with wright. Would be sweet

  18. Kip Earlywine

    For what its worth, from what Rob and I understand of Seattle’s offseason plans for the next couple years, the team most likely would not view a Sanchez addition as “the answer” at QB. Its also very possible that they could trade/sign a vet like Sanchez and still draft a QB, both this year and next year. Seattle intends to stockpile at the position.

    My own 2 cents on this-

    I like McFadden but I’m not sure he makes sense for Seattle. Obviously, if Oakland lets him go for a 4th rounder or something then sure, its worth trying. From what I hear though, Oakland is hoping for a 1st rounder. I doubt they’ll get it, but it doesn’t look like he’s going to come cheap, and he’d kind of need to for me to feel good about it considering his struggles with Cable in the past.

    I’ve always thought that Sanchez had first round talent, just not high first round talent. Despite what people said about the Jets being a good landing spot I’ve always disagreed with that. Rex Ryan is a good defensive mind but in many other ways he’s not unlike Mike Singletary. When it comes to offense the Jets have been kind of clueless for a while- going after big names instead of guys that are just good players. Look at how Alex Smith was impacted when Singletary was replaced by a coach who knew what he was doing.

    I think putting Sanchez in an offense with smart coaching (like Seattle’s) could help him a lot- if nothing else he’d benefit from playing on a team without any egos (like Seattle’s). Sanchez hasn’t been a good QB so far, but I don’t like to judge QBs by results alone, but rather by how much ability they have. Sanchez is far from his potential, and its not unthinkable that he could be another Steve Young / Michael Vick type reclamation (though obviously, he probably won’t be THAT good). I think a 2nd round pick would be a solid deal, and anything 3rd round or later can only be viewed as great value.

    Even if Sanchez is no better here than he was in New York, he still accomplishes the teams goal of creating competition at QB in 2012 and from the looks of it, the list of QBs whom Seattle hasn’t already blown off that can realistically accomplish that goal is not very long.

  19. Kip Earlywine

    Well, according to our source, Ponder was no higher than 5th on the 2011 QB draft board for Seattle. Seattle might be interested, but for a 2nd, probably not. Remember that we have a decently high 2nd rounder this year. Rob and I, as well as many evaluators around the league, had Ponder much much lower than where he was drafted. It won’t matter to teams that Ponder was taken 12th overall. They will trade for him based on where they themselves graded him.

    Ponder’s rookie year hardly raised his stock. And really, what leverage does Minnesota have? They will want to deal Ponder much worse than teams will want to buy.

  20. NMD

    I’m assuming if Sanchez really did hit the trade market it would be because Peyton signs with the Jets since I don’t see how anybody else would be an upgrade to NYJ. In the case they do get Manning, like you just said about Ponder, it would be a buyer’s market and I don’t see how a team would give up more than a 4th for someone who would have to cut to give them the cap room to operate. Looking at that Jets salary cap site wouldn’t Seattle only be on the hook for the $8.5M base salary for the 2012 season, isn’t the rest of that money (14.25M) old bonus money getting prorated?

  21. MLT

    We could get osweiller or cousins with our 2nd! No way we trade it for christian ponder! Both those guys have way more upside then ponder has! Sanchez I think can have real success in seattle! # 1 our coach is 10 times the coach/motivater then rex! If anyone could get his head straight again it would be PC! #2 seattle fans are 10 times better then new yorks fake garbage fans!! We wouldn’t trash sanchez and he would repay us with goood play and a lot less pressure from media and all that would be a big boost for him I think! 2nd round would be fine with me! Who in the 2nd round that would be available @ qb would be better option then him? Even if the 5th pick was a reach he still is 1st round talent and only like 23 years old! To me sanchez would be great pick up and let him and tarvaris battle it out!! Mcfadden too expensive gurantee it! And with a deep rb class all we need to find is a compliment to lynch not a feature back! We can find that after lynch is done in seattle which hopefully is not for @ least 4 years! Anyways just a few thoughts! Also campbell for the right price might be ok for another stopgap to compete wit tjack, 5th maybe 6th not more then that though! He brings just about what tjack brings to the table maybe better decision making is the only seperation between the 2!

  22. Mike

    Sanchez has been playing with a poorer supporting class with each and every year…Between Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes has to combine for the most WR drops in a duo – Not to mention Brian Schottenmieher’s instance to run the ball and not opening up the passing lanes are also a concern.

  23. Richard

    Kip, You and Rob always offer intriguing possibilities for Hawk fans to consider. I can’t see the advantage of Sanchez towards the continued progress of the team. He would come with baggage and has prior negative history with Pete. Plus his high # of INTS seems to be more risk than this team should take. Let Cleveland, Miami or Washington be his new scenery. Or better for him a west coast or small market location like Oakland, San Francisco, Kansas City, Denver or Phoenix. Anywhere that helps us in the RGIII sweepstakes is good. Anywhere but here, I don’t see him as progress, more as stagnation. McFadden sounds intriguing for a 4th or later. Good topic.

  24. Thomas

    In reference to your comment on whether or not carrol has forgiven Sanchez, Pete has said in his book:
    “while it was perceived in that press conference that Mark and I had a strained relationship, we have actually become closer as a result of the experience. He understood where I was coming for as an adviser, and I understood where he was coming from as a competitor. Mark wanted to fulfil his lifelong dream of playing quarterback in the NFL, and I just wanted him to have a better garuntee of future success. I would have advised my own son exactly the same way. But I love that he stayed with his belief in himself and proved his decision to be the right one for him.”

  25. christian

    you guyz are silly sanchez is only 25 and holmes, burress, greenewell lets just say they arent exactly very scary i thought they had one of the weakest wr cores in the nfl. even if sanchez didnt improve which i doubt as hes still growing at his best he would still be a significant upgrade over t-jack, or at worst serious competition, if the cost is correct id give up a 3rd or lower, now realize very few qbs pan out in the nfl specially ones drafted lower than the first. with sanchez you know u have a starting quality qb which last i checked dont grow on trées and at the cost of a third or lower is a fricking steal

  26. Kip Earlywine

    I disagree Richard. For one, I think that if Seattle pulled the trigger on a Sanchez deal, you could probably assume that Carroll has let bygones be bygones. If not, then they wouldn’t deal for him. Also, I think Sanchez’s interceptions would drop dramatically in this offense, just like they did for T-Jack. The Jets had a talented supporting cast, but they really did throw Sanchez into the fire too quickly and asked too much too soon. I said three years ago and still believe that he should have sat behind a veteran for his first two years and they did not afford him that luxury. If you watch Sanchez’s USC tape, you will see a QB who is a pretty natural point guard QB type. Its not hard at all for me to see Sanchez having a season along the same lines as Alex Smith in 2011- two former “bust” high pick QBs who benefitted from improved coaching and a less demanding scheme. Seattle probably won’t have a shot at Barkley next year- but if Sanchez could be the 2012 version of 2011 Alex Smith, it gives Seattle plenty of time to “mine” for a good QB who’s not a top 5 pick.

    Also, I really really wouldn’t get my hopes up about RG3. Its sounds more and more like he’s a top 5 lock. His hype is spiraling out of control and its happening at the best possible time for him.

    Anyway, thanks for reading. I’m glad you enjoyed the topic. Lets just say that Rob and I know some things and not every topic we bring up is purely hypothetical- although in this case Sanchez is essentially hypothetical. I do think there is some smoke here, but we don’t have any kind of credible confirmation yet.

  27. Christian

    You Sanchez haters are silly, first off he’s 25,(still growing) I know it seems like he’s older but that’s because he entered the NFL early, too early according to Carroll, but whatever. As to great WR’s he had to throw to hahaha that’s funny Holmes had 1 good year, and a couple of ok ones, Burress other than his one good game vs the Giants was largely a wasted pickup, Greene didn’t scare anyone out of the box, and his OC was a freaking idiot, thank goodness Schottenheimer’s coming to the NFC West. For the cost of a 3rd round pick or lower steal him!!! You guys do realize that starting quality QB’s don’t grow on trees right?? At his best Sanchez would take the starting job from T-Jack, and take us to the NFC Championship Game, at his worst he’s great competition for T-Jack. You do realize that most 3rd rnd qb’s wash out in the NFL right.

  28. Griffin B


    I would be for the acquisition of Sanchez but I don’t think it will happen. I agree with the logic that if Carroll signed him that we wouldn’t have to worry about the past, but I don’t think the problem springs from there. I look at it from the following angle:
    If you are Peyton Manning, why in the world would you sign with the Jets? They play in a tough division, their coach is nuts, they have a lot of divas, and it’s not like Peyton won’t get paid top dollar wherever he CHOOSES to play. So why would he pick to play for the Jets?

  29. Derek

    I would agree a third round pick for Sanchez would be well worth it, as long as there is no rift between him and PC. A second rounder for Mcfadden not so much. In the second round we could have the likes of Chris Polk or maybe even Doug Martin (I doubt he lasts that long) for a lot longer, and cheaper, that we would have Mcfadden. I think a third rounder for Carson Palmer is realistic as well, and might be the better option if PC and Sanchez aren’t comfortable with each other. We might see the Raiders fall into a complete rebuild and offer Palmer and Mcfadden for some draft picks. I don’t see Palmer helping them at all in the near future.

  30. Tezlin

    I just recently started reading this blog. Boy was I missing out. You guys bring new and interesting content regularly, and even better you take the time to respond to questions in the comments section. Your blog is starting to get me excited about the draft process, which I have never been before!

    Anyway, an actual competition would be good, but my thoughts of Sanchez and Tjack are both pretty Meh. I agree with your assessments about the importance of motivation and coaching and how big a difference they can make. That being said, I would be less worried about what Carrol thought of the early USC departure, and more worried about what Sanchez thought of it. It is tough to regain someone’s trust once it is lost, and Sanchez could harbor resentment over Carrol’s comments. Of course the QB competition would sort out whether or not Sanchez could get over himself and compete, but if he didn’t it would just be a wasted pick, and now that we have seen what PC/JS can do with 4th-7th rounders, it would be a shame to see that happen.

  31. James

    Bring in Sanchez for a 4th? Yes please. No way Sanchise poisons this locker room after being traded for peanuts and forced to compete with Tarvaris Jackson.

    DMC for anything less than a 1st? Absolutely. Been dreaming of a Lynch/Richardson pairing but I’d take a Lynch/DMC 1-2 punch in a heartbeat.

    It sure is fun rooting for this team now that you know they’ll try just about anything.

  32. Kip Earlywine

    Thanks Tezlin, I’m glad you are enjoying your stay here. Before I became a writer here, I found Robs work to be a daily essential, and it really enhanced my appreciation for the draft process.


    Griffin B, I agree that Manning probably won’t be a Jet. That said, the quarterback is supposed to be the leader and focal point of a football team. If pretty much the entire team doesn’t respect its quarterback- particularly the wide receivers, can that team even consider moving forward with that quarterback?

    Staying the course with Sanchez would be very difficult (and very risky) to say the least, especially since Holmes will remain a Jets player in 2012. If things get worse in 2012 with Sanchez at QB, it could quickly become a full blown fiasco, and Rex Ryan may not even survive the season. The team could flip Sanchez for a pick, save some money, and use a fraction of that money to add a veteran (Orton, Campbell, Garrard) who in the short term is probably a better player at this point than Sanchez, then use that pick to add a QB like Cousins or Osweiler, etc. That seems like a very sensible course of action given the stakes involved, and Jets fans would be pretty understanding about it from what I gather.

  33. Jmpasq

    Why I dont thnk Sanchez is very good this reminds me of the problems Eli had when he started in NY. They had big disruptive personality on offense in Jeremy Shockey.Amani Toomer said that Shockey would cause issues in the Huddle and it was holding Eli Back. Shockey gets hurt a team guy Kevin Boss comes in and the Giants win a Super Bowl.A Super Bowl the Giants would never of made it 2 according Toomer had Shockey been there.The Giants got rid of the veteran presence gave him young receivers ,made Eli the unquestioned leader.They created an environment for ELi to take hold of the offense become the QB he is now.Maybe the Jets would benefit from creating a similar environment for Sanchez.At least u know if he can play or not

  34. andy

    To give up a 3rd rounder for him would be a great deal for us! (we already know he is much better than Whitehurst…….) And the chances of him beating out TJack in a competition and going on from there and showing improvement in the Hawks NON-DYSFUNCTIONAL team atmosphere are very real.

  35. Griffin B


    I completely agree that it would be sensible for them to move on, but from what I have read/seen of Rex Ryan and the Jets front office “sensible” is not part of their MO. I mean seriously, they drafted a QB who wasn’t ready to start…and what did they do? They started him. They let their WR’s call out their QB on a regular basis… The coach is willing to sort of pick fights with other teams… The coach is willing to say detrimental things about his players… They need help at WR so they sign Plax…someone who gave Manning all kinds of crap… The list goes on.

    My point is, while I think it would be sensible for them to sign a QB like Orton (as he has been decent pretty much everywhere he has played) I just don’t expect them to be sensible. Additionally, I think it would take Rex Ryan swallowing his pride to let go of his hand picked QB…and I don’t think Ryan can swallow something so big without choking.

  36. Smeghead

    I could totatlly get behind a Sanchez pick up… He could bring that competition to Tjack this year and be a much longer bridge QB option for us while we develop one (Portis) or two other young QB’s. I have too many injury concerns about McFadden to be too excited about that (unless we’re talking like 4th rd pick or something). There are just too many exciting RB’s in the draft that I would rather take a shot at especially if they are looking a franchise tag on Marshawn instead of a long term 4-5 year deal.

  37. Robert

    Last words on McFadden. If the Hawks trade for him, they better resign Lynch or have a great back up (like OAK had in Bush). McFadden will get hurt, he’s proven that. He could also cause more earthquakes in SoDo though. Electric talent with major injury issues (how many fast runner recover from Lis Franc problems? not many).

    Sanchez has only ever been asked to be a game manager. Any time the Jets relied on him to win the game, the pretty much lost. Sure, he’s young. Sure, he knows Pete. But frankly Sanchez doesn’t impress all that much, especially in crunch time. I’d much rather let Schneider use his Ted Thompson GB scouting prowess and find his future QB on his own that trade for somebody hoping to find a diamond int he rough (cough cough Whitehurst).

  38. Richard

    Kip, As you and Rob have encouraged in us all to do, I looked at the stats for Mark Sanchez on Pro Football Reference and they are not that impressive.

    Yes his 4th Quarter Comebacks (4QC) and his game winning drives (GWD) make him better than what we have had but his TD to Int ratio is not that impressive. The high number of Ints is my biggest concern. What stats should I be looking at to get a better sense of his value, or should it just be film?

    Also according to Pro Football reference apparently it doesn’t show much improvement at all in TJac’s Ints count.

    We all want the Hawks to do well and hope they can make decisions that keep them moving forward, I just am not sure he would do that. But I’m basing my opinion on stats and not film and that is probably where you have me. I’ll hope for the best as we all do.

    Plus, I have seen film on RGIII and I can’t help but get excited about what could be, if he were here. It is what is best about this whole process and time of year. What if…….So Please, don’t blame some of us for still dreaming that that possibility is still within reach, regardless of how it seems to get farther and farther away. We still hope everything will fall so that our QBOTF can be “And now starting at quarterback for the 2012 Seattle Seahawks Robert Griffin III.” Thanks again for the discussion.

    What about Mario Williams is he a “fit” on this team?

  39. williambryan

    Sanchez has a great record in the 4th quarter of games. I think he is and will be a fine QB in the league and the problems with the Jets are just that, problems with all the Jets, not just Sanchez.

  40. glor

    Please stop it with this Sanchez nonsense. They guy is not an upgrade at all. He has had a ton of support and time to develop, we are drinking some coolaid if we think he would come here and turn into a top 15 QB.

  41. Michael (CLT)

    McFadden = No thanks. The guy has never played a full season. I’d rather cringe and draft a RB in the 2nd round than take his baggage. He might even be cut this year, the way Oakland is cleaning house. Steer clear.

    Sanchez = Hahhh… I loved him coming out of USC. Loved his feet. I worry Seattle fans would treat a QB drafted at “any” level if they struggled. Sanchez is no different. He still has great feet.

    In addition, Sanchez has won huge games. I find it funny people rip him for winning with defense and talent around him, when that is what all but maybe three QB’s in the league do.

    That said, neither of these scenarios will happen. Jets have no backup plan for Sanchez beyond Manning, and no salary cap for Manning. McFadden is way overrated. You can’t make the team from the tub.

    Interesting theories. They do help the time go by. I doubt they have much chance. I’ll leave the validity to someone else.

  42. FWBrodie

    Jmpasq, love the Eli Manning comparison.

    You watch Tarvaris play quarterback and then you watch Sanchez and you can see a big difference just via the eye test. Sanchez has better tools, better technique, and just looks the part. The obvious difference in their play this season is that Sanchez will throw the ball in situations when Tarvaris will hold. How much of that is game plan and how much is instinct we couldn’t possibly know, but the ball coming out of Sanchez’s hand looks a lot better than the one leaving Jackson’s most throws and the time between the snap and the throw is the same story. I’d be happy to watch that competition play out, especially at a Charlie Whitehurst price (plus a couple million).

  43. Bill Clifford

    Sanchez could be a decent guy to push Tarvaris but I don’t like the idea of trading for him. I’d much rather we pay a little more for Payton Manning as we seem to have the cap space to bring him on. I sort of see Sanchez as Leinart 2.0 and I just don’t really see him developing into an elite player. Besides having a great D, he also has had a great running game around him and some pretty good receivers and he still can’t get it done. With Campbell and Orton out there I think it would make more sense to keep our draft picks and bring in one of those guys if we don’t pay Manning or move up in the draft for RGIII.

    On McFadden, no way. Too many injuries, poor results with Cable and a high cost are all reasons that we would be better off drafting a RB.

  44. SoCalSeahawker

    I’m shocked to hear so many 12’s ripping on Sanchez. This guy has led his team to 2 AFC Championship games in 3 years in the league. The Hawks have been to 2 Conference title games in the history of the franchise. There is zero reason to worry about any friction between PC and Sanchez. If a deal is done, that friction has been resolved. Sanchez is better than any QB Seattle will be able to draft in the 3-4 round range and very close to the same age with 47 career starts. Throw in the fact he’s $$$ in the red zone and the 4th quarter. Two things T Jack is not.

  45. Jerry Nice

    TAD – Come on man! Please don’t tell me you think watching an UDFA rookie QB play 3rd/4th stringers in one game is enough to think that he’ll be an elite QB facing the best defenses in the league.

    I’m so tired of lazy comments like this. How is Mike Teel doing? Or what about Seneca Wallace?

    The only way we’re going to get to the next level is with a 1st round talent at QB – Preferably one that we groom in-house. I can’t even hide it either…I want RG3 at any cost. He has the exact right mannerisms and leadership needed for this regime. Also, his upside is crazy and his skills translate flawlessly to our offense. PLEASE PULL THE TRIGGER!

  46. Jerry Nice

    SoCalSeahawker – I’m kind of with you here. While I want us to groom our own, Carroll would know more than what to do with Sanchez, and I think he has a chance to kick ass in our division.

    Plus, this is going to be a team built off defense and a running game. If we have an above average QB at the helm (which Sanchez is), we can do some real damage.

    Let the speculation begin!

  47. Kip Earlywine

    Good point JMPasq. That pretty much sums up how I feel as well. Chemistry between a QB and his targets is huge.

    Richard, FWIW, T-Jack had a career int rate of 1 per 27.4 attempts before last year. In 2011 his rate was 1 in 34.6. Not a huge improvement, but a notable one. Just my opinion, but I think its pretty clear that T-Jack benefited from the simplified role Pete Carroll provided, even if T-Jack still struggled at times. Enjoy dreaming about RG3 while you can, but its probably not happening. Seattle is determined to build up the pass rush. I’d love them to sign Mario Williams, but I get the feeling Seattle will look to the draft to address pass rushers.

  48. smitty

    Portis looked like he had all the measurables you would want, plus now a year of practice and maturity, I like Tad would like to see what he could do. I dont see how Cousins are any of these other 2nd tier QBS in the draft could do much better. Of course Sanchez for anything other than a first or 2nd is a deal thats got to be made.

  49. Jerry Nice

    Smitty – there’s a HUGE difference in playing against major football programs (Cousins included) throughout high school. Better challenges and talent level to play against. Portis will most likely be a career backup given his level of talent. The truth is, he wasn’t even able to bump whitehurst for the 2nd QB spot last year.

    All I’m saying is name the last undrafted QB that made a major dent in the NFL..

  50. jim J

    PC just wanted to give Whitehurst a last chance to prove himself. I can’t believe that just about any QB couldn’t have played better than Whitehurst. I’m just sorry that PC didn’t rest Tevaris longer and let Whitehurst really tank the team. We might be argueing about picking Griffin or trading for two #1s and a #2 draft pick right now if he had just kept Whitehurst in the rest of the season. Ha, ha.

  51. Richardfg7

    No way dude. Our guys know how to find talent and there’s plenty out there. Every year guys go untried that could become great quarterbacks. Schniders crew can just get to work & find us one.

  52. PatrickH

    @JerryNice – Tony Romo was undrafted before he was signed by Dallas. (Although I am not saying that Portis will turn out to be another Romo.)

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