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Mark Sanchez reportedly trade bait for New York Jets

The sad fumble that ended the New York Jets' playoff hopes Monday night also might turn out to be the final play of Mark Sanchez's Jets career.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported Wednesday that the Jets will explore trading Sanchez during the offseason.

It's unclear if the source of this information is from the team's side or Sanchez's camp, but Mehta says not to rule out the possibility that the quarterback still could compete for the starting job in New York next season. We have our doubts that will happen.

It feels like Sanchez, who was demoted this week in favor of third-stringer Greg McElroy, has reached the point of no return with the Jets, and this news leaking out doesn't help. The Jets surely would have to swallow most of Sanchez's guaranteed $8.25 million salary in 2013 to get rid of him, but a clean break makes the most sense. There's no way Sanchez would take less money in the situation.

The Star-Ledger reported Wednesday, via a league source, that Sanchez's bulky contract has the Jets considering all options, including a trade.

The Daily News confirmed NFL.com's Ian Rapoport's Tuesday report that Michael Vick would be open to coming to the Jets if the Philadelphia Eagles release him. Rapoport noted Vick would only join the Jets if Sanchez is out of the picture or paid much less than him.

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"Bring it on," one Jets source told Mehta of Vick possibly joining the team. Another said Jets coach Rex Ryan "loves" Vick.

Then again, the same article said the Jets will place "special emphasis" on ball security when looking for a new quarterback. Vick had nine interceptions and 10 fumbles in just nine starts this season.

If the Jets are looking for a quarterback who won't turn over the ball, Vick would be an odd place to start.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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