Despite leading the franchise to consecutive AFC Championship games in 2009 and 2010, quarterback Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets recently parted ways after five seasons. The former University of Southern California standout missed all of 2013 due to a significant shoulder injury he suffered in a preseason contest against the New York Giants and even though the option remained open for the AFC East affiliate to hold onto Sanchez, the franchise elected to go a different direction last week. Following his release – which was quickly met with New York's signing of former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick – Mark Sanchez will now have the opportunity to start fresh with a new organization and there is still time for the 27-year-old to rejuvenate his career even though he's coming off shoulder surgery.

While his time in the National Football League has certainly not panned out the way many thought it would, Sanchez will surely be given another opportunity to reestablish himself on the gridiron. With teams such as the St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns in the market for help at the quarterback position, the Long Beach, California native is expected to hold discussions with multiple franchises in the coming days. Though the New York Jets organization remains optimistic about their future, current head coach Rex Ryan said recently that he'll miss having Mark Sanchez in green and white since the two helped reignite a struggling Jets franchise in 2009.

“I’d like to thank Mark for everything he’s done for this team and me personally,” Ryan, who made his head coaching debut in 2009 and was instrumental in the team's drafting of Mark Sanchez with the No. 5 pick in the NFL Draft that same year, said recently. “We were rookies together and had some early success, becoming the first rookie head coach and quarterback to go to back-to-back championship games. We experienced a lot together and I really appreciate Mark. He’s a great player, a great teammate, and I wish him nothing but the best.”

Following his release, Mark Sanchez thanked New York Jets fans everywhere for their support through good times and bad. Noting that his only regret was not being able to capture a championship – something the Jets haven't been able to do since 1969 – the free agent quarterback says he'll never forget some of the great teammates, fans and icons he met along the way, including young Aiden Binkley, a fan with a rare form of cancer who Sanchez became close with prior to his passing in December of 2010.

“Playing quarterback for the New York Jets has been the thrill of my young career,” he wrote. “We shared some incredible moments together that I'll never forget … There were tough times but mostly good times, and in the end I know I gave you and the Jets everything I had to win the Lombardi Trophy. I only regret that we couldn't bring it home for all of us to share, especially for those guys in the locker room and for my friend Aiden.”

In five seasons with the Jets, where he was the full-time starter from 2009 through 2012, Sanchez threw for over 12,000 yards and recorded 68 passing touchdowns while leading the Jets to AFC Title Game appearances his first two professional seasons.

READ The Complete Letter Mark Sanchez Wrote To Jets Fans