Michael Vick is now the quarterback for the New York Jets — or one of them, anyway. After spending much of last season on the bench with the Philadelphia Eagles, Vick had wanted to go somewhere he could be the sure-fire starter. But by joining the Jets, he finds himself in an instant competition with second-year quarterback out of West Virginia, Geno Smith.
But one thing is for sure. The Mark Sanchez era for the Jets is over. Immediately before announcing the signing of Michael Vick, the Jets gave their five-season quarterback, who was once looked on as the Jets answer to Tom Brady but who never lived up to the expectations set for him, his release from the team. The Jets drafted Sanchez with their first-round pick, fifth overall, in the 2009 NFL draft.
The Jets announced the Michael Vick signing on the team’s official Twitter account.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) March 21, 2014
According to an ESPN source, the Jets signed the 33-year-old Vick for just one year at a salary of $5 million.
“Maybe I can come here and be an asset whenever my number’s called. I’m excited, I’m elated, and I feel like this is a great opportunity for me and my family,” Vick said after finalizing his deal.
It appears that the Jets perceive Michael Vick not as a starter, but as a mentor for the 23-year-old Geno Smith.
“Make no mistake about it, Geno Smith is going to be hard to beat out, no matter who we add,” Jets Coach Rex Ryan said, prior to the signing of Michael Vick.
“He’s here in a role where he’s going to compete and push Geno Smith to become the very best that he can be,” said Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who also coached Vick in Philadelphia. “Michael will be able to go in and play at a high level and a winning level if called upon.”
Sanchez missed all of last season with a shoulder injury, allowing Geno Smith to start every game as a rookie. The Jets finished the season at a respectable 8-8, but missed the playoffs.
Signing Michael Vick who spent two years in jail on a dog-fighting conviction is the second time in recent years the Jets have signed a controversial backup quarterback whose presence could create a distraction, after they signed Tim Tebow in 2012.
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