NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For all those who believe the Jets need a legitimate veteran quarterback to push incumbent Geno Smith in training camp, there might be a solution in the works.
Michael Vick, anyone?
It just might happen, according to NFL.com insider Ian Rapoport.
Vick, who will soon be an unrestricted free agent, has not been the same player over the last few seasons due to injuries, but he could be exactly the type of veteran the Jets need. The 33-year-old would not only force Smith to accelerate his maturation process, but also could step in at a moment’s notice should Smith struggle or get injured.
Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg worked with Vick when both were members of the Philadelphia Eagles. According to Rapoport, there is “mutual respect” between the two men.
Rapoport’s reporting contradicts the Daily News, which has said the Jets are more inclined to target veteran Josh McCown, who is coming off a great season backing up injured Jay Cutler in Chicago. In eight games, McCown, 34, completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 1,829 yards, with 13 touchdowns, just one interception and a 109.0 passer rating to instantly become the buzz of a free agent class that really isn’t that spectacular.
Vick, a four-time Pro Bowler, has not played a full 16 games in a season since he was released from prison on a dog fighting conviction and reinstated by the NFL in 2009.
During his five seasons with the Eagles, Vick completed 59.4 percent of his passes for 9,984 yards, 57 touchdowns and 33 interceptions, numbers that would certainly draw interest all over the NFL. However, Vick fumbled 36 times over the final four seasons, so ball protection is an issue.
Turnovers are a big reason why Mark Sanchez has run into problems with the Jets. He missed the entire 2013 season with a shoulder injury and is under contract for next season. However, it is widely believed Sanchez will be cut because his salary will count $13.1 against the 2014 cap and he’s due a $2 million roster bonus in March.
“Let’s just let it play out,” Jets coach Rex Ryan told reporters on Thursday at the NFL Combine. “I always want guys back … (Would) I want (Sanchez) back? Absolutely. Would I want all my guys back? You guys know my answer. You know how I feel about my players. That’s just the way it is.”
The free-agency period begins on March 11.
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