Four factors to consider with the Bears signing QB Mark Sanchez
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This is not the start of the Mark Sanchez era. Next season belongs to quarterback Mike Glennon.
But Sanchez will be right there with him.
A league source confirmed that the Bears will sign Sanchez — a former first-round pick of the Jets who is best known for his mistakes, including his notorious “butt fumble” — to a one-year deal after he visited the team on Thursday. (The Bears announced Sanchez’s deal early Friday.)
Here are four factors to consider about Sanchez’s arrival:
• General manager Ryan Pace prefers to have an experienced backup. He said as much when Brian Hoyer was signed last April to be Jay Cutler’s backup.
“It’s important for that position and [an experienced backup] just gives us security going forward,” Pace said then.
Connor Shaw, the only other quarterback under contract, only has one career start, which came in 2014 for the Browns.
Sanchez, 30, is 37-35 in his career with 86 touchdown passes, the same amount of interceptions and a 73.9 passer rating. He was better in six playoff games for the Jets in 2009 and 2010, going 4-2 with a 94.3 passer rating.
• Sanchez’s arrival won’t prevent the Bears from drafting a quarterback in April.
But for as much hype as Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer and North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky have gotten from their respective pro days, it’s still considered a mediocre class with many question marks.
That said, if the Bears do draft a quarterback, Sanchez would be there to help.
Last season, Sanchez was a positive influence for rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, who took over for an injured Tony Romo. Sanchez, according to several published reports, had no problems embracing taking on a reserve role.
Sanchez knew exactly what Prescott was experiencing. As a rookie, Sanchez started 15 games for the playoff-bound Jets in 2009.
Videos of Sanchez congratulating Prescott gained him plenty of attention on social media during the Cowboys’ 13-3 season.
• The Bears love promoting competition, but Glennon is safe. As Pace said, he’s the starter.
Glennon’s already under enough pressure to produce after he was signed him to a three-year, $45 million deal, $18.5 million of which is guaranteed.
“As a quarterback you always have to perform,” Glennon said. “I have full confidence I’ll be here for a long time and we’ll win a lot of football games.”
• Forget about Sanchez’s past. Sure, his famous “butt fumble” in a loss to the Patriots in 2012 always will make for great fodder, but the Bears value Sanchez as a teammate.
This move is about helping Glennon and the young quarterbacks.
Glennon will be starting for the first time since 2014. Sanchez has handled the pressure and negative attention in a major market before. From a football perspective, he’s played in different schemes with the Jets, Eagles, Broncos and Cowboys.