Mark Sanchez walking away from NFL for ESPN college football analyst job

We’ll always have the “Butt Fumble,” Mark.

Mark Sanchez, the former New York Jets quarterback who was involved in one of the greatest bloopers in NFL history, is stepping away from his playing career and joining ESPN’s college football studio show, according to the New York Post. ESPN confirmed the news on Twitter.

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The network also announced that former New England Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich will join the network as an NFL analyst.

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It’s a role that fits Sanchez well. He’s personable and will be an asset to the network’s coverage. And Sanchez gave us plenty of memorable moments over his eight NFL seasons, though not all of them good.

Mark Sanchez’s Jets seasons were up and down

Sanchez was thrown into a cauldron, as the fifth overall pick of the 2009 NFL draft out of USC. He was expected to be the team’s first true star quarterback since Joe Namath, or at least Ken O’Brien.

The team had success with Sanchez early on. Buoyed by a strong defense, the Jets made the AFC championship game in each of Sanchez’s first two seasons. But he never got over his turnover problems. In four Jets seasons he threw 68 touchdowns and 69 interceptions.

And yes, there was the “Butt Fumble.” In a 2012 Thanksgiving game against the Patriots, Sanchez tried to run after there was a miscommunication on the handoff and he had nobody to give the ball to. He ended up running right into the backside of guard Brandon Moore. Sanchez fumbled, the Patriots recovered and ran it back for a touchdown.

It’s a folly that will be replayed forever.

Sanchez bounced around after Jets

Sanchez spent two seasons in Philadelphia, one in Dallas, and after being out of football in 2017 he resurfaced with the Washington Redskins last season after they had massive injuries at quarterback. Sanchez played two games for Washington, starting one. He threw three interceptions with no touchdowns.

According to the Post, Sanchez will join Kevin Negandhi and Jon Vilma on ESPN’s lead college football studio show. A spot was open when Mack Brown left to coach North Carolina.

It was clear that Sanchez’s NFL playing opportunities had probably dried up anyway. But he should have a long, great career as an analyst.

Quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) played four seasons for the New York Jets. (AP)
Quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) played four seasons for the New York Jets. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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