Updates from Monday, April 28
Michael Vick posted an image of his jersey number on Instagram, along with a statement:
I want to see everybody in there MV8 jerseys this year. I appreciate all the fans that helped. Fresh start..new me! #JetsNation #GangGreen #V8
However, Vick later took down the Instagram post.
TMZ's Staff later reported Vick chose his number to honor the legendary Steve Young:
Mike Vick has finally selected his new jersey number -- #8 -- and sources connected to the NY Jets quarterback tell TMZ Sports it's all because of Steve Young.
Our sources tell us ... Young was a HUGE factor in the number selection because Vick has always looked up to Steve ... "He's one of Mike's favorite players of all time. Also, he's a lefty, too."
Updates from Wednesday, Mar. 26
The NFL Around the League Twitter feed provided commissioner Roger Goodell's thoughts on Vick:
Goodell: Michael Vick made a 'tragic' mistake, but has 'exceeded expectations' since. 'Proud of the work he's done.'— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) March 26, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, Mar. 25
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News provides Michael Vick's perspective on joining the Jets and how he views his own level of play:
Tom Pelissero of USA Today provides more details on Vick's contract:
Michael Vick's deal with #Jets is 1 year, $4M fully guaranteed -- a $2M signing bonus and $2M gtd base salary.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 25, 2014
Following five up-and-down seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles before eventually being replaced by Nick Foles, veteran quarterback Michael Vick is leaving town with hopes of regaining a starting job.
The New York Jets announced via Twitter that they have signed the dynamic dual-threat quarterback:
ESPN's Adam Schefter provided the financial details:
Jets gave former Eagles QB Michael Vick a one-year, $5 million deal, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 21, 2014
Here's what Vick had to say via the Jets' website:
It means a lot to have the chance to come in and play for a great organization that had a lot of success last year and being on the brink of doing some good things. Maybe I can come here and be an asset whenever my number's called. I'm excited, I'm elated, and I feel like this is a great opportunity for me and my family.
Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who was formerly with the Eagles and Vick, added his two cents.
We are excited to acquire Michael Vick. He's a great talent who's won many games, including playoff games, in this league. He has the respect of both his teammates and opponents. He's here in a role where he’s going to compete and push Geno Smith to become the very best that he can be. Michael will be able to go in and play at a high level and a winning level if called upon.
The announcement came just minutes after the Jets reported that they had released quarterback Mark Sanchez:
Mark Sanchez has been released.— New York Jets (@nyjets) March 21, 2014
Vick got off to a strong start for the Eagles in 2013, but injuries eventually hindered his play and moved him to a permanent bench role. He ended up completing just 54.6 percent of his throws—his lowest mark since 2009—for 1,215 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions in seven games (six starts).
How many games will Vick start during the 2014 season?
Under Chip Kelly's new tutelage and fast-paced offense, however, he once again looked dangerous running the ball with 306 yards and two scores on the ground. His 8.5 yards per carry was the highest mark since his rookie season in 2001.
But the second-year Foles didn't waste his chance when he was given the opportunity to start, throwing for a silly 27 touchdowns to just two interceptions and compiling a 119.2 QB rating, effectively cementing his status as the franchise starter in Philly.
Yet the 33-year-old Vick still has visions of being a starter in this league.
“I don’t worry about it,” Vick said, via CSN Philly's Reuben Frank. “My skill set is still there, my arm is still there, my legs are still there, I’m still a playmaker, that’s evident. I think at some point, I’ll be playing somewhere.”
While Vick has dreams of being an NFL starting quarterback again, second-year quarterback Geno Smith might be tough to beat out.
New York Daily News reporter Manish Mehta has head coach Rex Ryan's thoughts on that:
Rex Ryan (via SNY) on adding a vet QB: "Make no mistake about it: Geno Smith is going tobe hard to beat out. I don't care who we add" #nyj— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) March 21, 2014
Ryan makes it clear where he stands regarding the depth chart, but, if nothing else, Vick will serve as an excellent mentor for a young quarterback. The competition in practice alone could be enough to give Smith an edge that he didn't have last year.
Even after 11 seasons in the league, there's little question that Vick remains one of the most electrifying quarterbacks in the NFL when healthy. He hasn't played in 16 regular-season games in nearly a decade (2006), but this is a relatively low-risk move that could pay off big dividends for the Jets.
If Smith does falter, New York now has a more experienced, and talented, option than it had last year.