Michael Vick joins Jets as Mark Sanchez leaves New York
The inexplicably random approach to its quarterback position has taken a new turn with the release of Mark Sanchez and the signing of controversial veteran Michael Vick.
Former Eagles and Falcons QB Vick will compete with 2013 second-round draft pick Geno Smith, who started every game as a rookie last year.
Sanchez had lost the starting quarterback job after a preseason shoulder injury kept him out for the season.
The Jets traded up to select Sanchez in the first-round of the 2009 draft, and reached the AFC Championship game in each of Sanchez's first two seasons. But he struggled in 2011 and 2012 – with 18 interceptions each season. He did however maintain the job despite the recruitment of Tim Tebow and moments such as these:
Coach Rex Ryan said: "I'd like to thank Mark for everything he's done for this team and me personally. 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 was due a $2 million bonus if he was still on the roster on March 25 and the Jets will now save more than $8 million on his contract.
Vick signed a one-year deal after his deal with the Eagles expired. He lost his QB job to Nick Foles in the middle of last season.
He had previously lost his quarterback role in Atlanta when .
"I thought it was a great opportunity to come in and compete, push Geno, who I have a great friendship and relationship with. Help him to become the quarterback that we all want him to become. And also to myself, to be back in the position where I may have an opportunity to play at some point."
"I mean I wouldn't say I would necessarily be okay with sitting on the bench all year. But I know what I signed up for. I know what I came to New York to do. First and foremost I came to compete and be a helping hand for Geno, and he has a long way to go."
Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who was Vick's coach for four seasons in Philadelphia, said: "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."
Where will Sanchez go? The Oakland Raiders have been rumoured, but traded for former Houston starter Matt Schaub on Friday. The Houston Texans this week signed Ryan Fitzpatrick and