Mark Sanchez has 68 career touchdowns and 69 career interceptions. (Rick Osentoski/AP Images)
Mark Sanchez spoke with the media on Tuesday for the first time since undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in early October and said he'd like to return to the Jets, the only team he's played for in his five-year NFL career.
"It's been a dream come true to play here and I don't want to go anywhere else so that's for sure," Sanchez said. "I know I have two years left [on his contract, though the remaining years aren't guaranteed]. I don't ever want that to end. I love being a Jet. I plan on being here."
Sanchez was injured on a hit late in the third preseason game against the Giants when many believed he shouldn't have been playing. But the 27-year-old, who led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game in each of his first two seasons, said his arm will be "bionic" when he is cleared to return, likely in 4-6 months.
Sanchez turned the ball over 20 times last season, prompting the Jets to draft Geno Smith in the second round in April. But Smith hasn't fared well in his rookie season, with eight touchdowns and 18 interceptions in his first 11 games. He's only thrown one touchdown pass in his last six games.
Sanchez said he's still getting used to not being able to play.
"It's definitely different," he said. "Something I don't wish on anybody. Not even on your worst enemy you don't wish this on. It's hard to be away. It's hard to not be in the locker room, be on the plane, be on the bus. Little things like that, you miss it so much.
"All the wins, even the tough times, the struggles, it even makes you appreciate those times and how much you love being out on the field and how much you love playing. Hopefully will be back as soon as possible and be ready for next year."