For about a month, the best landing spot for Michael Vick in his post-Eagles playing days has appeared to be with the New York Jets. The Jets have reportedly been eyeing the aging quarterback for some time, and according to Eliot Shorr-Parks, the two sides will be coming together this weekend.
The move almost makes too much sense for the Jets to pass up. First and foremost, the deal would give New York a quarterback that is ready to start games in the NFL. Vick has had his struggles in recent seasons to be sure, but his arrival would be a big improvement over Geno Smith, who was hit and miss at best during his rookie campaign.
Signing Vick would not be viewed as the first step away from Smith as the long-term solution for the Jets either. The Jets knew when they drafted Smith that he had big potential, but he was, and still is, a very raw player. He needs time to settle into the NFL.
Mark Sanchez was supposed to give the Jets the ability to slowly work Smith onto the playing field last season, but due to an injury late in the Jets’ third preseason game. In reality, Sanchez probably shouldn’t have been playing so late in the game, especially considering he was the team’s best option, but hey, that’s another discussion for another day.
Of all the available quarterbacks in the NFL, no individual lines up with Smith’s style of play as well as Vick, and that very fact makes Vick that much more fitting in the Jets’ scheme. Even if Vick were to go down to an injury, the offense wouldn’t have to change. Smith would be able to plug himself right in and keep the team rolling, at least that’s how a quarterback change would work in theory.
The Jets aren’t a team on the brink of making a Super Bowl push in the immediate future. There’s still a lot of building to be done, both offensively and defensively. Under Rex Ryan, the Jets have seldom put a competent offensive unit on the field, largely due to inexperienced quarterbacks being asked to do more than they were able.
Vick’s past couple of seasons don’t seem to indicate that he’d take the Jets’ offense to the top of the league, but he’d give them a chance. He’s a veteran player that has plenty of experience, and it’s that level of expertise that would not only help New York in the short-term, but it would also prove invaluable to Geno Smith’s development over the next two or three seasons.
If the Jets are in fact serious about building a team that will be winning for the next decade or more, they have to get serious about putting a legitimate quarterback on the field. Although he wasn’t impressive in his rookie year, there’s no reason Smith can’t develop into the quarterback the Jets need him to be, but he’ll need help. By bringing Vick into the fold, the Jets give their quarterback of the future a fighting chance to improve enough to be an effective passer. From this perspective, nailing down Vick to a contract this weekend would seem to be a no brainer for general manager John Idzik and company.