I’m pretty sure this isn’t the first time I’ve started a New York Jets piece with those two words. But it will probably be the last. Mark Sanchez (71.7 lifetime passer rating) is no longer a member of the Jets; he was released earlier this month and summarily picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles on a one-year deal. Well, the Eagles needed another quarterback anyway – as we’re about to find out.
Who’s Job Is It Anyway?
Yes, folks, Michael Vick (86.5 passer rating last year) has exchanged one shade of green for another. Vick signed with the Jets for one year and $5 million, but for what purpose? According to GM John Idzik, Vick will compete for the starting job with incumbent QB Geno Smith (66.5 passer rating), who showed some Vick-like flashes in his rookie campaign as the Jets finished 8-8 SU and 9-6-1 ATS.
Whatever happens with that competition, the Jets figure to be in good shape at quarterback – if they can avoid the injury bug. And perhaps that’s why Bovada has New York pegged at 50-1 to win Super Bowl XLIX, way down there with the likes of the Cleveland Browns and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Vick, who turns 34 this June, only played seven games for the Eagles last year because of injuries. And because of Nick Foles.
There is a possibility that the Jets will run some packages that include both Vick and Smith, although the same was said about Tim Tebow when he was signed to “compete” with Sanchez in 2012. But before we throw any more quarterbacks under the bus, let’s not forget who the team’s top receivers have been the past couple of years: Jeremy Kerley, Jeff Cumberland, Chaz Schilens, Stephen Hill… ai ya.
Green Double Decker
That’s why the signing of former Denver Broncos WR Eric Decker (87 catches, 11 TDs last year) means so much for New York this year. Decker’s numbers may have been inflated from having Peyton Manning throw at him for two years, but he signed to a very reasonable five-year deal at $36.25 million, with $15M of that guaranteed. And the fact that Manning was willing to throw that often to his No. 3 WR (behind Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker) speaks well for Decker’s abilities.
The Jets might not be done upgrading at wideout, either. Ever since they signed Vick on March 21, it’s been speculated that former teammate DeSean Jackson (82 catches, nine TDs) would leave Philadelphia and join him. Well, the first part came true; the Eagles cut Jackson, apparently over concerns that he had been rubbing elbows too closely with gang members. As we go to press, Jackson is being courted by “as many as nine” teams, including the Jets.
We know about New York’s interest because Jets owner Woody Johnson said so himself. This is very much a win-now season as far as Johnson is concerned, and while he also cautioned that the Jets only wanted Jackson “at the right price,” there’s no question the pressure is on Idzik to acquire talent.
Which means you’re probably not going to find a better value on the NFL futures market at 50-1. New Yorkers have been known to treat their hometown teams a little harshly when times are bad, and the Jets did manage to put up that 9-6-1 ATS record last year, largely on the backs of the No. 12-ranked defense in the league (No. 12 pass, No. 2 rush). Vick himself has been undervalued for much of his career – as often happens with dual-threat quarterbacks. New York is still a long shot to win the Super Bowl, but stranger things have happened at shorter odds.