Source: Eagles to give Mark Sanchez physical Thursday

Source: Eagles to give Mark Sanchez physical Thursday
March 26, 2014, 10:30 pm
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Former Jets QB Mark Sanchez underwent shoulder surgery last Oct. 8 and missed the entire 2013 season. (USA Today Images)

Veteran quarterback Mark Sanchez will undergo a physical with the Eagles' medical team on Thursday morning and is expected to sign with the Eagles if everything goes well, a league source said Wednesday night.

Sanchez, recently released by the Jets, missed all of last year with a shoulder injury that required surgery, so the physical is more than just a formality. The Eagles need to see that Sanchez is on track to be at or close to 100 percent in time for the regular-season opener.

The Jets released Sanchez on Monday with a failed physical designation, a formality since they were planning on releasing him anyway after signing former Eagle Michael Vick.

“I think Mark is a very, very good athlete,” head coach Chip Kelly said earlier Wednesday at the owners' meetings in Orlando. “He’s started 60-some-odd games in this league. He’s got good experience. He has a lot of positive qualities.”

Sanchez, 27, started 62 games for the Jets and has won four playoff games, more than the Eagles have won since they beat the Falcons in the 2004 NFC Championship Game. His 94.3 postseason passer rating is ninth-highest in NFL history.

Sanchez, the fifth pick in the 2009 draft out of USC, is 33-29 as a regular-season starter and led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game in both 2009 and 2010.

Nick Foles, who threw 29 touchdowns and two interceptions last year and was named Pro Bowl MVP, goes into 2014 as the Eagles’ starter.

Sanchez joins second-year pro Matt Barkley, another former USC quarterback, on the depth chart. It’s not clear whether Sanchez will go into the season as No. 2 or if Barkley will have a chance to compete for the job.

The move is an important one, since only three quarterbacks in franchise history have started 16 games -- Ron Jaworski five times, Randall Cunningham three times and Donovan McNabb four times.

Since 1991, the Eagles have used more than one starting quarterback in 19 of 23 seasons.

“Obviously, we lost Mike, so we’re always trying to look for that backup position behind Nick in terms of what we can do to bolster it, whether it's through free agency ... we’ll see where we go,” Kelly said.

“It’s a position of need for us. We played three quarterbacks last year. I don’t think you can look at your roster and say, 'Hey, we’re good at quarterback.'"

Eagles insider Geoff Mosher contributed to this story.