Sam Darnold, Mark Sanchez
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Mark Sanchez believes the New York Jets need to get Sam Darnold to another NFL team as quickly as possible, for the quarterback’s sake.

Mark Sanchez knows what it’s like to not have the LA-to-New York cross-country transition work out, and he thinks it might be too late for Sam Darnold‘s New York Jets career to overcome such a fate.

Appearing on ESPN’s Get Up!, Sanchez, currently a college football analyst for the Worldwide Leader, discussed the latest mock draft from colleague Todd McShay, which projected the Jets to take BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with the second overall pick in this spring’s draft.


The two-time AFC finalist supported McShay’s selection, advocating that the Jets should set Darnold free, fearing the hypothetical consequences if his third season under center were to start off troubling.

“They gotta do something fast to get him out of there,” Sanchez said. “As soon as he goes 3-and-out two times this year, his ass is getting booed out of the stadium. It’s not fair to the kid.”

Sanchez had a brief period of prosperity after he was dismissed from the Jets in favor of Geno Smith in 2014, posting a career-best 88.4 passer rating in the immediate aftermath with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Debate has raged on over whether Darnold has been a disappointment in the early stages of his NFL career. His supporters have said that his subpar results are merely a product of playing on a Jets team rife with turmoil and turnover. Sanchez believes that’s the only way.

“He’s gotta get to a quarterback-friendly system and a quarterback-friendly coach immediately,” Sanchez said. “He doesn’t want to get caught … with the Jets, ‘Yes we like you, no we don’t’ while they’re trying to find his replacement. They just gotta do something fast to get them out of there.”

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Darnold’s future, hanging in the balance with so many elite passing prospects in the draft, has been a hot topic during ESPN’s NFL coverage this week. Several members of the NFL Live crew defended his potential and looked forward to seeing it play out, whether in New York or elsewhere.

Through his first three seasons, Darnold has 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions over 38 starts, amassing a 13-25 record. In comparison, Sanchez tallied 55 touchdowns and 51 interceptions over his first three years (47 games).

With a far stronger team behind him, Sanchez also reached consecutive AFC Championship Games, but the Jets have not made the playoffs since.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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