Jets: Is There Downside to Bringing in Michael Vick?


Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

While glossing over the New York Jets’ quarterback situation without giving it any further thought, it may seem like another controversy ready to blow up. We’ve seen that story before with Rex Ryan’s club and the Tebow/Sanchez debacle—the last thing we want to see is another QB squabble that doesn’t end well.

Let’s get it straight: The situation just isn’t the same at all as it was before and the addition of Michael Vick on a one-year deal does no harm to this football team, especially from a fan’s perspective.

The Tebow signing was looked at largely as a marketing and public relations stunt, since he wasn’t really the type of player who could come in and actually make your team better. If Michael Vick ends up beating out Geno Smith for the starting job, there is nothing that fans should be upset about over it. In fact, one would go as far to say Jet nation should be excited about the arrival of the seasoned veteran.

Coming into the season and before any talk of a quarterback competition, we were assuming Geno would be under center for year two in New York. While that still may happen, the Jets obviously feel that he didn’t do enough as a rookie to be handed the keys to the car the way Mark Sanchez was after an up and down first season. We’re in a spot now where an open competition lends itself to the most deserving candidate starting for the Jets.

Why do fans dislike this move in terms of the football team? It really makes no sense since in any scenario imaginable the idea is to win more games. If Vick starts over Smith, he’ll have won the job fair and square. If the incumbent Smith is able to outlast Vick we could be a step closer to looking at the Jets next franchise quarterback. Also, the team will have a more than capable backup either way.

One thing we’ve seen from Smith is that he’s mentally tough. He’s welcomed the challenge and competition with Vick just the way he should. Any other outlook would bring out the type of ugliness that the New York media would love to jump on him for. If bringing in someone else to compete for his job is enough to cause Geno to wilt under the pressure, maybe he isn’t the guy Jet fans should want to see play the position for years to come anyway.

Although it’s not ideal for Smith, sitting behind a guy like Vick and mastering the playbook while learning as much as possible really isn’t so terrible. Vick is here on a one year deal and his arrival does not in any way mean Geno’s future as Jets quarterback is in jeopardy. The 23-year old Smith has plenty of growing to do and this acquisition shouldn’t stunt that. If anything it should push Geno and bring the best out of him like he, Vick and the Jets have said all along.

If Vick happens to get hurt as some people project, then Smith will be the guy playing QB and we’ll be back where we started and at the spot we assumed we would be prior to free agency. The $5 million shouldn’t be harped on too much being that the Jets have the cap space and the money given to Vick isn’t going to keep the Jets from signing somebody else in a need position. If it does later on, we’ll have another discussion.

I don’t see how any downside seen can take hold here for fans of the team. The other quarterbacks available wouldn’t have been received any better and arguably weren’t even better options for New York. The Jets are putting pressure on their young QB like they haven’t before, perhaps trying to increase that already visible mental toughness.

Geno displayed gifts during his rookie season that Jet fans want to see more of and even if he isn’t able to show us more from the start of the 2014 season, it doesn’t mean his future can’t be bright in green and white.