He put himself in this position, thanks to the 52 turnovers that have submarined his last two seasons. The writing is on the wall with second-round draft pick Geno Smith in house, but Sanchez still stands a good chance of retaining his job at the outset of the 2013 season.
"When it's a straight-up competition for the job, let's roll," Sanchez said. "It really doesn't bother me at all. It really doesn't affect my confidence or anything like that. We're competing for something. All right, I'm going to win. That's just how I am."
Though the Jets aren't giving anything away, Sanchez appears to have the early lead through organized team activities and minicamp. Smith was tentative in his early work with the team, looking like the rookie he is.
Sanchez -- like his coach, Rex Ryan -- probably could use a fresh start. The quarterback doesn't want to go anywhere, however.
"I love being here, I love playing here," Sanchez said. "We've tasted success here, and we've seen that formula work and we're getting back to that. There was a little adversity last year. Call it a little, call it a lot, call it whatever. It doesn't affect the way I train, the way I work."
Sanchez plays the part of underdog as he enters his fifth NFL season. Most of the civilized world has written him off as a middling talent. He's getting one last chance to prove them wrong in New York.