The New York Jets thought so highly of Mark Sanchez that their general manager traded up to the fifth pick to draft him in 2009 and their coach tattooed his jersey onto his body. But, despite leading the Jets to two AFC championship games, the USC product’s five-year stint in New York ended on Friday.
Not coincidentally, the Jets inked former Eagles and Falcons quarterback Michael Vick to a one-year deal worth $5 million. It’s a dog-eat-dog league. Dan Leberfeld, longtime publisher of Jets Confidential, believes Michael Vick “signed with the Jets because he sees a vulnerable starter he can beat out, so I’m not buying the mentoring stuff. He’s coming in because he thinks he will beat out Geno.”
The signing suggests both dissatisfaction with fledgling quarterback Geno Smith and an organization, with a head coach in a win-or-go-home year, looking to win now. The Jets save $8.3 million against the salary cap by releasing Sanchez, who hits the open market as a free agent immediately.
“Vick is very comfortable with the Jets offensive playbook, because he played under their current coordinator Marty Mornhinweg in Philadelphia,” Leberfeld points out. “But the big question is can he stay healthy. He’s not a big guy, and he’s been banged up a lot in recent years. Durability is a big concern with Vick, who is now 34.”