Michael Vick will be wearing a different shade of green this season. He and the New York Jets agreed to a one-year deal worth $5 million. Just moments before the signing, the Jets announced that the team released Mark Sanchez, who has been with the team since 2009 and led the team to two AFC Championship games.
Vick will join Geno Smith, who the Jets drafted last season, at quarterback and will be competing for a starting job. Both players have a similar style, escaping the pocket to extend plays and able to throw on the run, but Vick would be the better choice to start for the Jets in 2014.
Smith started all 16 games last year and was hot-and-cold the whole season. Smith had a 55.8 completion percentage and threw for 3,046 yards, 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He also had 72 rushes for 366 yards and six scores. He finished as the 20th-best fantasy quarterback. Smith had nine games with 10 or more fantasy points.
Despite not playing a full season since 2006, Vick should open the 2014 season as the Jets starter for multiple reasons. One is to help recently-signed wide out Eric Decker. The former Denver Broncos fantasy stock dropped when news broke he signed with the Jets. Naming Vick the starter will give Decker a better chance to excel as a No. 1 wide receiver, both in fantasy and reality.
Two, Vick is still one of the fastest quarterbacks in the league. His ability to run out of a collapsing pocket and get to the sideline is amazing. From 2010 to 2012 with the Philadelphia Eagles, Vick had 238 rush attempts for 1,597 yards and 11 touchdowns. Vick’s playmaking will give the Jets that wildcard defenses need to watch out for.
The final reason is Vick will be reunited with his former offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg. Under Mornhinweg’s guidance, Vick had one of his best statistical seasons in 2011. He had a 59.8 completion percentage, 3,330 passing yards and 18 touchdowns. This chemistry will help the Jets build a better offense around Vick and make him more comfortable.
If Vick wins the starting job, I immediately place him as the 20th-best quarterback in 2014. He has a legit No. 1 receiver in Decker. This also might entice the Eagles to trade DeSean Jackson as well, giving the Jets an excellent one-two punch. Until a starter is named, though, Vick is a backup and Smith remains just outside the top 20.