The preseason games have completely changed the depth chart order for the Denver Broncos at quarterback. Mark Sanchez, signed initially to be the team’s #1 QB, is now the third one on the list, and will probably be released if he doesn’t take a paycut.
Sanchez didn’t play in the Broncos 3rd preseason game, and with a salary of $4.5 million next season, the Broncos would like to either make him take a pay cut or release him, as they’re not in the business of paying so much money for their third-string quarterback. The Broncos seem to be moving towards giving Trevor Siemian the starting job, over both Sanchez and rookie Paxton Lynch. Siemian hasn’t been that great during preseason, but the Broncos like his calmness, and feel he’s good enough for the talent they have on both sides of the ball to keep the ship on course.
Sanchez, with $1 million guaranteed on his salary, is probably going to take the cut, although the Broncos still haven’t asked him to alter his contract. The Broncos probably don’t want to go after another veteran quarterback, as it means someone who will have to learn the playbook from scratch. Sanchez hasn’t played under Gary Kubiak besides training camp and preseason games, but if he isn’t that expensive by the end of this process, it’s worth holding on to him.
Lynch, a rookie, has a $1.7 million cap hit, coming as the 26th overall pick in 2016. Siemian is making the minimum after being a 7th round pick in 2015, and comes with a $538,000 cap hit. If the Broncos do release Sanchez, it gives them $3.5 million of cap relief, and carrying $1 million in dead money.
Sanchez signed his current deal before the 2015 season with the Philadelphia Eagles (two years, $9 million.). The 7-year veteran (although he did miss all of 2013) played in 4 games last season for the Eagles, starting in two of them, posting a passer rating of 80.7, throwing 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions while completing 64.8% of his throws. He hasn’t been to the postseason since 2010. He was traded to the Broncos for a 2017 conditional draft pick.