John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports
For all of the mistakes the Jets have made in free agency this year, nabbing the top available quarterback in Michael Vick may be able to reverse their earlier miscues.
Off-field issues aside, Vick is everything the Jets are looking for in a backup quarterback. While he is not quite the same dynamic player he was in 2010, Vick has enough in the tank to challenge Geno Smith for the starting job, bringing out the best in the sophomore passer.
If Geno Smith is unable to beat out a 34-year-old Vick in training camp, the Jets have all of the intel they need on Smith's chances as a franchise quarterback.
On the flip side, if Smith wins the battle, Vick can provide tremendous value as a mentor and a backup who can step in and win games if Smith struggles or suffers an injury.
There are two downsides to Vick as a backup quarterback: For one, he is not cheap, as $5 million for a player the Jets hope they never have to play is hardly good value. Plus, Vick has yet to shed the "injury prone" label, having not played in 16 games in a season since he was an Atlanta Falcon.
Some fans will still hold a grudge against Vick for his past mistakes, but the Jets are convinced that he is a changed man. Owner Woody Johnson admitted to doing a personal background check with commissioner Roger Goodell, who was instrumental in Vick's successful reform and return to the NFL.
Vick has his flaws—after all, he wouldn't be on the market if he were perfect—but the Jets may have saved their otherwise disappointing offseason with this one move.