Having been eliminated from the postseason, the New York Jets decided on Dec. 18 to bench Sanchez, their franchise quarterback. With Sanchez's four seasons in New York, it's become clear to the Jets' staff—and certainly to fans—that he hasn't evolved into the player he was expected to be. He was chosen fifth in the 2009 draft after a promising career at the University of Southern California, where he closed his college career in 2008 by finishing second only to Matt Leinart for a season-high in passing yards and touchdowns. But with the Jets, he has suffered from a tendency to drop the ball or throw it to the other team. Even more painful, Sanchez just last March signed a contract deal through 2016 that includes an $8.25 million guarantee for 2013.
Where Sanchez plays next season remains an open question—as does the final judgment on his career. The NFL's biggest quarterback busts have suffered from a mix of high
expectations, muffed opportunities, bad luck, and poor lifestyle choices.