Denver Broncos quarterback Mark Sanchez, who is playing with his third NFL team, has a firm believer in Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath.
In attendance at a charity event in New York City, Namath shared his support for Sanchez, indicating that he believes the much-maligned quarterback will be around the league for quite some time:
“My mind, my experience, sees a quality person and a quality player,” Namath said, via Bob Glauber of Newsday. “I still believe he’s going to be around 12 to 15 years, whether he’s the starter or not. He’s good for any team he’s on.”
For the record, Sanchez is 29 years old and has been in the league for seven seasons. If Namath’s liberal calculation is correct, Sanchez will still be playing at the age of 42.
Being the only quarterback in the history of the Jets to ever get the team to a Super Bowl, Namath also boasted that Sanchez makes for a better starter than free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick.
“I don’t think he can beat Sanchez out. He’s got a younger body (than the 33-year-old Fitzpatrick), a stronger arm, and he’s a guy that has some experience.”
Prior to the NFL draft, Fitzpatrick had been on the Broncos’ radar as a potential competitor for Sanchez at quarterback. But in the end, the Broncos didn’t want to pay Fitzpatrick what he firmly believes he is worth.
Namath proceeded to show his support for Team Sanchez:
“I saw the process he went through. It was a rather unique process, especially the third year. Then some things hit the fan. Things changed quite a bit, and he took the beating without complaining.”
Selected fifth overall in the 2009 NFL Draft, Sanchez helped lead the Jets to the conference title game in each of his first two seasons.
Though, after two more unsuccessful seasons in New Jersey, Sanchez found himself sidelined with a shoulder injury. He never suited up for the team again, instead signing with the Philadelphia Eagles prior to the 2014 season.
Sanchez now finds himself a member of last year’s Super Bowl winning team, and presumably the starter for the Broncos in Week 1. What happens later on during the season remains to be seen.
The Broncos moved up in the 2016 NFL Draft to select Paxton Lynch as their eventual franchise quarterback.
Sanchez is going to have to dress to impress starting out of the gate in Denver. If not, he could very well be looking to call another city home in free agency next March.
We’ll see soon enough whether Namath’s seemingly ridiculous support of Sanchez pans out.