Jets release QB Mark Sanchez, sign Michael Vick
Mark Sanchez's career with the New York Jets is officially over. Sanchez was released by the team on Friday. With Sanchez out, the Jets didn't waste any time in adding another quarterback to the roster.
Just minutes after the team released Sanchez, the team announced the signing of Michael Vick to a one-year deal. Vick will be reunited with Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. Mornhinweg was Vick's offensive coordinator in Philadelphia for four seasons (2009-12) before joining Rex Ryan in New York in 2013.
"We are excited to acquire Michael Vick," Mornhinweg said in a statement. "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."
Vick's one-year contract with the Jets is worth up to $5 million, according to ESPN.com. That contract is good news for Vick, but could turn out to be a risky move for the Jets. If Vick wins the starting job in New York, the Jets will have to pay him substantially more after 2014. It's a win for Vick though because whether or not he starts in New York, he'll have a chance to hit the free agent market next offseason.
The former Eagles quarterback will be looking to do in New York what he did in Philadelphia last season: Win the starting job. Vick was named the Eagles starting quarterback coming out of the preseason, but an injured hamstring sent him to the bench and Nick Foles eventually took over the quarterback job. Vick's final start of 2013 came in a Week 8 loss to the Giants.
Vick had been scheduled to meet with the Jets this weekend, but apparently, he made the decision to sign before the weekend even started.
As for Sanchez, his 2013 was similar to Vick's in that both quarterbacks loss their jobs permanently after an injury. Sanchez appeared to have a slight edge over Smith for the Jets starting job before injuring his shoulder in the preseason.
Sanchez had season-ending surgery in October, which effectively ended his career in New York.
The Jets could have held onto Sanchez for a few more days, but a decision had to be made by March 25. If Sanchez had still been on the roster then, the Jets would have owed him a $2 million roster bonus.
Sanchez joined the team the same year as coach Rex Ryan. The fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Sanchez helped lead the Jets to two straight AFC Championship games.
"I'd like to thank Mark for everything he's done for this team and me personally," Ryan said in a statement. "We were rookies together and had some early success, becoming the first rookie head coach and quarterback to go to back-to-back championship games. We experienced a lot together and I really appreciate Mark. He's a great player, a great teammate, and I wish him nothing but the best."
Sanchez may no longer be a Jet, but we'll always have the memory of him being one thanks to a tattoo on the Ryan's arm of Ryan's wife wearing a Sanchez jersey.