Life in the National Football League took off in quite a hurry for quarterback Mark Sanchez. Selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, the former University of Southern California standout seemed to be worth the high selection given his overall understanding of the professional game and ability to make big plays when it mattered most. Despite throwing 20 interceptions against only 12 TD’s during his rookie campaign, Sanchez took the Jets to the AFC Championship Game, a feat he’d accomplish the very next season as well while further proving he was the man for the job. Even though New York failed to reach the Super Bowl in 2009 and 2010, the franchise seemed confident with the man under center.

The early success did not follow Sanchez the next few seasons however, as the Long Beach, California native showed an inability to protect the football -- negative traits that cost the Jets significantly on the gridiron. Though he threw for a career-high 3,474 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2011, Sanchez also committed 26 turnovers as the Jets missed the playoffs for the first time under head coach Rex Ryan. Following up a mediocre 2011 campaign, Sanchez turned the ball over 26 times again in 2012, while tossing only 13 touchdowns in 15 starts. His experience in New York would only continue to falter.

Missing the 2013 season due to injury, the once-promising star watched as rookie Geno Smith took full control of the quarterbacking duties as New York once again failed to qualify for the postseason. Now that the Jets seem ready to let Smith – the 39th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft out of West Virginia – take full control of the quarterback position, reports indicate that Mark Sanchez could be on his way out. If the Jets do decide to part with Sanchez and his $13.1 million salary cap figure, numerous teams would undoubtedly be interested in his services. With free agency set to begin on Tuesday, March 11, here’s a look at five possible suitors for the potentially available Mark Sanchez.

5. Cincinnati Bengals

It may seem crazy considering starter Andy Dalton has taken the Bengals to the postseason in each of his first three professional seasons but due to a lack of depth behind him, it’s easy to see why a quarterback like Mark Sanchez makes sense. Add in the fact that Dalton and Cincy have not been able to move out of the Wild Card round and perhaps Sanchez’s previous playoff success would give the Bengals organization a reason to give him a look.

4. Minnesota Vikings

With QB’s Christian Ponder, Josh Freeman and Matt Cassel already on the roster, Minnesota is certainly set from a depth perspective. The quality of that depth, however, remains in question. Each of the three have previous starter experience but with a team seemingly headed in a new direction with the hiring of head coach Mike Zimmer and a future Hall of Fame running back in Adrian Peterson thirsting to play for a competitor, Minnesota may be wise to give Sanchez a glance due to his past experience. A change of scenery may also help the former USC star rediscover his early professional success.

3. St. Louis Rams

Though he captured 2010 Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford has not been able to stay on the field. Sure head coach Jeff Fisher has a decorated resume that includes a Super Bowl appearance but without a capable quarterback, St. Louis’ streak of nine seasons without a playoff appearance will continue to get longer. Veteran backups in Brady Quinn and Kellen Clemens haven’t shown enough in their careers to be viable starting options, but a player like Mark Sanchez would provide the Rams with an extra quarterback capable of succeeding at any time.

2. Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns organization hasn’t enjoyed a playoff season since 2002, largely due to instability under center. While veterans Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer are nice pieces, 2012 first round pick Brandon Weeden has not played the way Cleveland higher-ups hoped when they drafted him 22nd overall. The addition of a player like Mark Sanchez given his overall experience may be the thing the Browns need. Add in a few playmakers while reassuring the offensive line and you can make the case that a fit certainly exists.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Blaine Gabbert has not been the answer for the Jaguars and even though Chad Henne has shown the ability to perform at a high level, Jacksonville remains in serious need for help at the quarterback position. Using the upcoming NFL Draft to select talents such as Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles or Derek Carr is one option but if Mark Sanchez becomes available, the Jags would be wise to pick up the phone.