Friday, March 21, 2014

Who Let the Dogs Out? Jets Sign Ex-Eagle Michael Vick

The Jets went from the firing pan with Mark Sanchez into the fire when they completed a contract with veteran quarterback, and dog expert, Michael Vick on the same day as National Puppy Appreciation Day. Yes, there is a Puppy day.

Vick who lost his starting job last season to Nick Foles in Philadelphia had been linked to the Jets for some time, and New York finally signed the former jail hound to a one-year $5 million contract to be the "back-up" to Geno Smith.

The best part of the deal is the fact that the Jets were able to get rid of failed 2009 draft pick, Mark Sanchez, but adding Vick certainly brings its own share of risks.

For starters, Vick is 34-years old, and hasn't put together a really solid season since 2010, when he took the Eagles starting job from Donavan McNabb, and went on to have a Pro Bowl season, throwing for 3,083 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Vick has been underwhelming since, battling mostly injuries and the obvious fact that his career as a starter in the NFL might, in fact, be over.

While he won the quarterback job coming out of training camp last summer, he couldn't stay on the field long enough before suffering a hamstring injury against the Giants in October. Foles took over, and went on to have an incredible season. Vick never touched the field again.

When healthy, Vick can be very dynamic. This is a guy who is best when he is allowed to use his legs to make plays. Even in his 30s Vick still has pretty good speed; if the Jets can get a couple more receivers, teaming them up with a healthy Vick would make the Jets fun to watch.

However, one has to wonder what the Jets motivation really is with this move. Vick is a guy who still believes he can start in the NFL. He is also coming to a team that houses his former offensive coordinator with the Eagles in Marty Mornhinweg, whom he resurrected his career with after Vick's 2-year jail sentence for running a dog fighting ring.

All of those factors point to a guy who is going to compete for, and might even take the starting job away from Geno Smith, who is only in his second year in the NFL, and has proven little mental toughness thus far.

If Smith struggles, obviously the cat calls will be for Vick. And if Vick does come in and start, what kind of player will he actually be? Will he be the Vick from 2010 and '11? Or will he look like the washed up athlete we have seen the last two seasons?

At the very least this is a one year contract, a low risk move financially. But, if the Jets want Geno Smith to be their starting quarterback of the future, this will complicate things just a bit. Then again, perhaps a move like this signals that the Jets brain-trust doesn't believe in Smith after all, and once again the Jets still don't have a quarterback.

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