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Jets cut Mark Sanchez

New York Jets v New England Patriots

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 12: Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets looks on before the Jets take on the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 12, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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The Mark Sanchez era is over.

Sanchez, the quarterback who went to the Jets with the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft and has been a polarizing player since, has been released. The Jets officially announced the long-awaited move on Friday afternoon.

At his best, Sanchez showed promise as a player who could develop into a franchise quarterback who would lead the team for years to come. But he had significant flaws as a passer, flaws which were often overlooked in his first two seasons, when the Jets rode a strong defense to the AFC Championship Game.

Later on, when the Jets’ defense didn’t play quite as well, it became more apparent that Sanchez simply didn’t have what it took to lead a team to a winning record. The Jets’ baffling decision to give Sanchez a contract extension in 2012 was followed a year later by the decision to draft Geno Smith in 2013, which sealed Sanchez’s fate.

Now Sanchez becomes an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any team. Someone will surely pick Sanchez up and let him compete for a roster spot, but it’s unlikely that he’ll be a starter in 2014. Sanchez has a lot of work to do to turn his career around, and if he ever does it, it won’t be as a Jet.