Sanchez, now with the Philadelphia Eagles, spent five years with the Jets and was teammates with Edwards in 2012. In his first year in New York after being a top-five draft pick, Sanchez threw 12 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, completing 53.8 percent of his passes.
"You have to remember, Mark was 20 years old when he was drafted (he was actually drafted at 22) -- he was a kid," said Edwards. "They babied him and never really allowed him to man up in the NFL, which is a league full of men."
The Jets released Sanchez, now 27, in March after he missed the entire 2013 season due to a shoulder injury and was replaced by Geno Smith. He then signed a one-year deal with the Eagles and spent the first seven games of the season backing up quarterback Nick Foles.
When Foles left Philadelphia's Nov. 2 game with an injury, Sanchez came in and completed 15 of 22 passes for 202 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Foles will reportedly miss six to eight weeks with a fractured collarbone, leaving Sanchez in the starting role for now.
"We had a good team that allowed [Sanchez] to not grow up, if you will," said Edwards. "When they took away the pieces, that's when you saw the decline of Mark Sanchez.
"Flash forward, I think those circumstances of his last three years with the Jets really allowed him to take hardship, take scares and learn from them."
Philadelphia (6-2) hosts the Carolina Panthers (3-5-1) on Monday.