One of the most polarizing quarterbacks of the last fifteen years is now under contract with the New York Jets. He’s garnered plenty of attention off the football field, and he’s one of the most discussed players on radio and television sports talk shows.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Please, stop me.
Someday, many years from now, the New York Jets will be the answer to an excellent trivia question: Brett Favre, Tim Tebow and Michael Vick have all played for which NFL team? The Jets’ third controversial quarterback signing in seven years paves the way for yet another excellent August of QB competition drama.
None of us were surprised that the former Philadelphia Eagle signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Jets yesterday, though the time it took to get him in the facility for a visit raised my eyebrow. The Jets promptly cut Mark Sanchez to avoid having to pay him a $2 million roster bonus March 25.
It says something that Chad Pennington was the last “stable” starting quarterback this team has had, so to speak. For all the ups and downs Eli Manning has had in his career, at least our New York counterparts, the Giants, have had a starting quarterback set in stone for the last ten years.
So this oughta be good for the media: The Jets have gone through several years of quarterback instability. Often, as expressed above, famous-quarterback instability. ESPN and friends are salivating at another year of debating a Gang Green QB battle. But for the team, this ought to be good: Vick can only help the Jets in 2014.
I’ve voiced support for the Jets to sign Vick, and I won’t change course now that it has happened. By now, we know all the details by heart: Vick is reuniting with his old Philly offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg, who is entering his second season with the Jets. Vick knows the offense. And Vick is the perfect candidate to simultaneously mentor and compete with second-year quarterback Geno Smith for the starting job.
We know Vick has been portrayed by myriad former teammates as a great leader, teammate, friend. We know all of that has happened since he finished a prison term for an infamous dogfighting ring. We know he’s the dictionary definition of “injury prone” and could very easily tweak something early in the year, forcing Geno to start regardless of previous competition. We know Vick will be 34 at the start of the regular season.
We know all of this by now. We know who Michael Vick is, and that’s why I support Jets management taking a chance on him.
With Josh McCown signing with Tampa Bay about ten days ago, Vick was indisputably the top free agent quarterback on the market. Meanwhile, the Jets needed to cut Sanchez to save some money and move in a new direction – that direction being known as “forward.” To retain Sanchez would have been to chain the team to a past from which it ought to be running the other way. The split was necessary.
If we want to review the Mark Sanchez era, the highs and lows, that can easily be done. But that’s an article for another day – maybe another month. For now, let’s enjoy what appears to be a brighter future in New York with Michael Vick.
Bracket update: For all of you who joined the iSportsWeb bracket pool with ESPN Tournament Challenge, you might notice that I’m right up there near the top. A nice big tie for second, ten points behind first. I’d like to take a second here and brag that I picked 26 of the 32 second-round games right and you did not. It was my most successful score after 32 since middle school. My only big blow was losing an Elite Eight choice of New Mexico, who I never should have trusted to begin with. If you’re not in our pool, I hope your bracket is doing well! If you are in our pool, stay down. I think I can win this thing.