Denver acquired Mark Sanchez from the Eagles for a 2017 conditional seventh-round draft pick on Friday, a team source told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. Broncos general manager John Elway later confirmed the move:
Acquired QB Mark Sanchez for a conditional '17 pick. He brings veteran leadership & will compete. This is the 1st step in our process.â John Elway (@johnelway) March 11, 2016
With only second-year arm Trevor Siemian on the roster, the Broncos have in Sanchez an experienced signal-caller with 72 regular-season starts under his belt along with six starts in the postseason. He's not the answer as a No. 1 passer -- not remotely -- but Sanchez had his moments in Philly after flaming out with the New York Jets. He also struggled mightily at times in Chip Kelly's offense.
Sanchez is set to earn $4.5 million in base salary in 2016, with $1 million of that guaranteed. He sounded like a goner Thursday, when Eagles coach Doug Pederson said little of the quarterback beyond: "Right now, he's still on the roster."
Keep in mind, this does not prohibit the Broncos from chasing down Kaepernick. NFL Media's Michael Silver and Rapoport noted that Denver is still in play to potentially trade for the Niners quarterback before it's all said and done.
With Peyton Manning's retirement and Brock Osweiler's defection to Houston, Elway is tasked with rebuilding his quarterback room from scratch. That won't be easy with so few promising passers on the market, but Elway has embraced the challenge.
If Kaepernick isn't the answer, look for Denver to shift to names like Ryan Fitzpatrick and even Brian Hoyer. Depending on how this shakes out, Sanchez -- entering his eighth season -- has a shot to see meaningful snaps in 2016. Still, we can't help but wonder if Sanchez might also be dangled as trade bait for Kelly and the Niners in a subsequent deal to land Kaepernick.
Judging by Denver's offseason, nothing would surprise us.