(AP) One more backup quarterback candidate is off the open market.
Bounced out of New York after the Jets signed Michael Vick last Friday, Mark Sanchez has moved down turnpike and signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. A news conference is scheduled for Friday
“I’ve said many times that we will always look to add quality players at the quarterback position,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly said in a statement.
He called the signing a “no-brainer.”
Sanchez was considered by some to be a candidate for the Bears as they decide whether to add another quarterback alongside Jordan Palmer to battle for the backup job behind Jay Cutler.
“Mark has started 68 games in his career and has taken his teams deep into the playoffs multiple times, so we really like what he brings to the table from an experience standpoint,” Kelly said. “I also had the chance to see Mark play in college and have always had respect for his game and athletic ability.”
Sanchez spent last season on injured reserve after tearing the labrum in his right shoulder in a preseason game. He led the Jets to the AFC championship game his first two seasons in the NFL before struggling the next two. Sanchez had an NFL-leading 52 turnovers in 2012-13.
Sanchez, in his sixth year in the league, will be added to a mix of quarterbacks that includes Nick Foles, Matt Barkley and G.J. Kinne. In college, Barkley succeeded Sanchez at Southern California.
“You can never have enough talent at the quarterback position on your roster, so when Mark became available we immediately became interested,” Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said.
Roseman pointed to Sanchez’s “valuable experience.”
“He’ll have the chance to come in and learn the playbook, and we feel he’ll be a nice veteran addition to the quarterback room,” he said.
Sanchez was the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft and drew comparisons to Joe Namath in New York. He had seemingly beat out rookie Geno Smith for the starting job in a preseason competition last August before getting hurt.
Sanchez has thrown 68 touchdown passes, 69 interceptions and lost 20 fumbles. His career completion percentage is just 55.1 and his passer rating is only 77.1.
While Vick will compete with Smith for the starting job in New York, Sanchez is coming to Philadelphia as insurance. Foles had a breakout sophomore season and led the Eagles to the NFC East title after replacing an injured Vick in Week 5. Foles threw 29 touchdowns and only two interceptions in 11 starts, including a playoff loss to New Orleans.
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