ORLANDO - The Eagles are interested in signing former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, according to a league source, but their medical staff needs to evaluate him before they can reach a deal.
Sanchez missed last season with a torn labrum (cartilage) in his right shoulder suffered on Aug. 24, making a medical evaluation an important prerequisite before signing him. If healthy, Sanchez would fill the team's need for a veteran backup after Michael Vick signed with the Jets last week.
With Nick Foles entrenched as the starting quarterback, the only other quarterbacks on the roster are Matt Barkley and G.J. Kinne. Neither reserve has NFL starting experience or has proved to be a capable backup, which explains why the Eagles are interested in a veteran No. 2.
"That's one of the positions we've always talked about having, a lot of depth, a lot of competition," general manager Howie Roseman said Monday at the NFL league meetings. "If there was an opportunity for us to add a player that we thought added competition, was a good player, we'd have to look at that."
A standout at Southern California, Sanchez was the No. 5 overall pick in 2009 and twice quarterbacked the Jets to the AFC championship game. Though Sanchez has a 33-29 regular-season record as a starter, his statistics have been unremarkable in the four seasons he has played. He has thrown 68 touchdowns and 69 interceptions, and has a 55.1 percent completion percentage.
His postseason performances were more impressive. Sanchez has thrown nine touchdowns and three interceptions in six postseason games. He won four of those games, each on the road.
The St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans, and Cleveland Browns also have expressed interest, according to the New York Daily News. Roseman repeatedly has said that the starting job is not available in Philadelphia, which is why Vick signed with the Jets for a one-year, $5 million deal.
"I don't think this was a money issue at all," Roseman said Monday of Vick's leaving. "I think for him, it was about the opportunity and what he wanted to do. We couldn't compete with that."
If Sanchez were to sign with the Eagles, his top competition for the backup spot would be Barkley, the Eagles' fourth-round pick who replaced Sanchez at USC.