The New York Jets' quarterback saga continues. With Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow unlikely to be in the fold next season, the troubled franchise may call for a seemingly unlikely but plausible solution to the position that has held them back in recent years.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick is a possibility to take over under center in the Big Apple in 2013. Several Jets sources seem keen to the idea:
Michael Vick, who is expected to be released by the Eagles shortly after the season, would be amenable to coming to the Jets if Sanchez is out of the equation.
“Bring it on,” one Jets source said about signing Vick if he becomes available. “He was hit too many times (behind a subpar offensive line) the last two years.”
Rex Ryan may be the X-factor to landing Vick, according to sources. Ryan has always had an affinity for Vick, who could potentially help save the coach from getting his walking papers after the 2013 season.
“(Ryan) loves him,” a team official said.
Then again, it also appears that Ryan loves all of his players. Heck, his affinity for Sanchez and sticking with the 2009 No. 5 overall pick through thick and thin has proven to be an unmitigated disaster.
Jets reportedly will place "special emphasis" on ball security at QB. Jets reportedly want Michael Vick. can't make this stuff up— gregg rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) December 20, 2012
But it's almost laughable at this point that Ryan is turning to Greg McElroy to start in Week 16.
Tebow has been treated horribly since arriving in New York, and hasn't even been given a chance to conjure some magic from a season ago where he keyed the Denver Broncos to an improbable run to the postseason.
His arrival only had to have heightened the pressure on Sanchez, who is in a state of perpetual struggle and will also be shopped this offseason.
To focus on Vick, the Jets may be the perfect fit for him. As an outstanding athlete with a cannon arm and much more pocket finesse, Vick can not only make those around him better, but will also play a huge part in helping out the running game.
With the versatility of Vick in the fold, it would open up the creative offensive mind of offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, who is known for designing interesting running plays particularly. It would save his job, and would save the entire staff from being as much on the hot seat—including Ryan.
To be fair to Vick as far as his recent troubling results on the field are concerned, he was playing behind a horrendous offensive line in Philadelphia at least for this season—and that's putting it nicely.
New York has one of the premier offensive lines in the NFL, anchored by left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and center Nick Mangold. Vick's lively arm could be put to better use, especially with the return of big-play threat Santonio Holmes at wide receiver.
Rookie Stephen Hill is bursting with potential and provides a formidable downfield threat, as does speedster Clyde Gates, but it remains to be seen if the Jets retain him.
Regardless, enhanced pass protection will help Vick immensely. He has absorbed so much punishment since his stunning comeback in 2010, which has landed him on the sideline due to post-concussion symptoms for the second half of this season.
Here is the other factor that makes Vick such an attractive option: The ugliness of the others. The Jets played just well enough to put them out of the running for the draft's top quarterbacks in what is already a weak class.
Free agency isn't an option either, as the only potential, somewhat proven starter on the market could be Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco. But would Jets fans really be sold on him as the future, either?
Unless the franchise wants to take a flier on Washington Redskins backup Kirk Cousins or orchestrate some sort of elaborate blockbuster trade on draft day, there aren't many better options.
Even if Vick gives the Jets one or two good years, there will be time to find an heir apparent in that window. Until then, Vick is one of the most exciting players to watch when healthy and firing on all cylinders.
With the Jets still sporting a solid defense, he may be the key for this team to turn the corner and keep the current Jets' regime in power.