The deal is finally done. The New York Jets have been rumored to be pursuing Michael Vick for some time now, and a deal has finally been reached. The Jets released Mark Sanchez in the process of this move, opening up even more cap space. The Jets were looking for a veteran quarterback to compete with Geno Smith, and they decided Vick was the right choice.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s history with Vick was surely a huge factor in this decision, and the Jets will be counting on him to maximize Vick’s talents. Vick and Smith will be in an open competition come training camp, but don’t be surprised if Vick is the favorite. Rex Ryan is the type of coach who is frequently mesmerized by big names who are past their prime (see Reed, Ed), and he will probably be gushing about Vick’s skill set to the media any minute now.
In reality, however, this move makes zero sense. The Jets are building for the future, and signing a 34-year old, extremely injury prone quarterback doesn’t do anything to achieve that goal. The Jets need to develop Smith and see what they have, not turn their offense over to a player who has a rapidly declining skill set and little to no future in the NFL.
The main criticism of Smith was how turnover prone he was, as he averaged 1.75 turnovers per game. However, in his last two full seasons as starter for the Philadelphia Eagles, 2011 and 2012, Vick averaged 1.85 and 2.1 turnovers per game. This season, Smith had a higher completion percentage, and he actually ran for more touchdowns than Vick has in the last three years combined. Finally, when Vick inevitably gets hurt the Jets will have no choice but to turn back to Smith.
The level of incompetence this organization has in regards to the quarterback position is incredible, and this move challenges the Tim Tebow trade in terms of terrible decision making. Hopefully the Jets come to their senses and keep Smith in the starting role, but that seems unlikely. This is a terrible move from the Jets, and it won’t be long before they regret it.