Even though he probably will be playing elsewhere next season, injured quarterback Mark Sanchez insisted Tuesday he wants to remain with the New York Jets and expects to be their starter in 2014. Sanchez, breaking a two-month media silence, spoke publicly for the first time since season-ending shoulder surgery. He predicted he will have a "bionic" arm when he's healthy, which probably won't be until the spring. The embattled former starter clearly stated his desire to play out his contract, which runs through 2016. "There's no doubt about that," he said, speaking to reporters at a church soup kitchen, where he volunteered to serve the homeless. "It's been a dream come true to play here and I don't want to go anywhere else, that's for sure. I know I have [three] years left, and I don't ever want that to end. I love being a Jet and I plan on being here." It's wishful thinking. With a $13.1 salary-cap charge in 2014, Sanchez almost certainly will be released or traded in March, when a $2 million roster bonus is due. The Jets are rebuilding at quarterback, and they can unload Sanchez with a minimal cap hit. Sanchez said he hasn't discussed his future with team management, but he's obviously aware of the speculation that the Jets don't want him back. Publicly, he refused to acknowledge the possibility. "I hope [I'm back]," he said. "That's all I'm thinking about, coming back next year, leading this team and playing well. "I know I've heard a lot of stuff on the outside about me not being here and stuff like that. I don't know if that's necessarily the case in the building. Hopefully not. Hopefully, I'm a Jet. That's where I am, that's where I want to be." As much as he talked about returning next season, Sanchez may have slipped, revealing his true expectations. When asked to comment on the team's offensive struggles, he almost spoke in the past tense. "I don't want to be critical of those guys," he said. "I've been in that situation, and I've seen guys that have played with us, and move on, be critical of us. It's like, 'Come on, you were just here last year. Why would you do that?' That's not really my thing. I root for those guys."
Mark Sanchez aims to stay with Jets beyond 2013
ESPN New York | Nov 26