NEW YORK (AP) — Mark Sanchez said so long to the New York Jets.
The recently released quarterback thanked the team, its fans and his former teammates in an open letter he posted a link to on his Twitter page on Monday.
"Playing quarterback for the New York Jets has been the thrill of my young career," Sanchez wrote. "We shared some incredible moments that I'll never forget."
Sanchez, cut last Friday when the Jets signed Michael Vick, said there were "some tough times, but mostly good times," highlighting the consecutive trips to the AFC championship game in his first two seasons in 2009 and 2010.
"It's time to move on," Sanchez said, "but before I do, I want to thank you for supporting me and my brothers in green and white." He ends the letter by telling his former teammates, "I love you guys and I'll miss the good times we shared."
Sanchez, drafted fifth overall in 2009, is a free agent who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury suffered in the Jets' third preseason game against the Giants — paving the way for rookie Geno Smith to start every game.
Sanchez's release was listed Monday on the NFL's transaction wire as "failed physical," but he is already throwing and is expected to be ready in time for training camp. Philadelphia and St. Louis are among the teams believed to have interest, although he would likely need to pass a physical before he is signed.
Sanchez, 27, tore the labrum in his right shoulder against the Giants and needed surgery to repair it last October. He had three years remaining on his contract, but the move saved the Jets $8.3 million in salary cap space.
He has thrown for 12,092 yards in his NFL career with 68 touchdowns and 69 interceptions, but also had a league-leading 52 turnovers during the 2011-12 seasons.
NOTES: Former Jets QB Greg McElroy, who spent last season on Cincinnati's practice squad, joined ESPN as a college football analyst for the SEC Network. McElroy, a seventh-round draft pick out of Alabama in 2011, announced his retirement from football last Friday. McElroy will work with Tim Tebow and Jesse Palmer, among others, when the network launches in August.
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