Redskins sign Mark Sanchez as backup

Chris Lingebach
November 19, 2018 - 2:18 pm

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


The Redskins are signing veteran quarterback Mark Sanchez to back up Colt McCoy.

McCoy is now the Redskins starter after Alex Smith went down with a gruesome leg injury in Sunday's game that will end his season.

The 32-year-old's last NFL action came as a member of the Cowboys in 2016, when he played in two games, completing 10 of 18 passes for 93 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. Sanchez served as the Bears' third-string quarterback in 2017.

As Craig Hoffman mentioned on 106.7 The Fan Monday morning, Sanchez is an ideal backup candidate for the Redskins due to his previous affiliation with offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh and passing game coordinator Kevin O'Connell.

"To me, the guy that makes the most sense, especially for this week, is Mark Sanchez, for a couple of reasons," Hoffman said. "One, really this week you're looking for a guy that can come in and know the playbook, and because Sanchez was with Matt Cavanaugh and Kevin O'Connell in New York, I think he's got the most familiarity with this offensive staff.

"None of Jay Gruden's former backups I think are available. Maybe Josh Johnson I think was on that list. He might have been at Cincinnati with Jay for one year. But overall, you're looking at guys who have connections to Cavanaugh and O'Connell. And, not to mention, Sanchez was in Dallas not that long ago under (Jason) Garrett... if he's going to run your scout team this week, like he's run the Dallas offense before. To me that would be a nice little added bonus. And then you can reevaluate if you want to Friday. You can say, 'Hey, thanks for the week. Here's your game check and we're going to go get someone who we feel better about as a backup.'"

Jay Gruden announced the signing at the podium Monday at Redskins Park.

"We're going to go with Mark Sanchez," he said. "We had a workout today. They all look pretty good. But based on his past experiences with Coach O'Connell and Cavanaugh. He's won some playoff games, got a lot of experience. I think this time of the year, you need somebody who's taken some meaningful snaps with a lot of experience, and Mark's done that."

Sanchez received a four-game suspension in April for a PED violation, which he was allowed to serve already in 2018 despite being a free agent.

Sanchez was among a trio of quarterbacks brought into to work out at Redskins Park. E.J. Manuel and T.J. Yates were the others.

Sanchez was the fifth-overall draft pick by the Jets in 2009 and led them to consecutive AFC Championships in his first two seasons.

Follow Redskins reporter Craig Hoffman for the latest.