Keidel: Maybe Vick Is The Trick For The Stagnant Jets
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By Jason Keidel
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“It’s only been three days, idiot!” was the standard retort.
Well, now that the free-agent pool has shriveled into a few fringe players, the Jets have signed … a kicker and Decker. (And the immortal Breno Giacomini.)
Decker caught 44 passes the season before Peyton Manning arrived, and may return to form this year, with a dearth of decent weapons on the Jets’ notoriously anorexic offense. But the Jets thought Decker, whom the Broncos didn’t even try to re-sign, was worth $36.25 million, including $15 million guaranteed.
In the parlance of social media .. SMH…
The Jets were interested in Dominique Rogers-Cromartie and whiffed. The Jets (see: Rex Ryan) were interested in Darrelle Revis and whiffed. The Jets were interested in James Jones and whiffed.
Now the best CB on the market is someone they just cut — Antonio Cromartie. And they still don’t have a true No. 1 weapon on offense for Geno Smith. That’s what the Jets did with their $40 million in cap space.
I was also branded a dolt for suggesting the Jets give Michael Vick a look. No way the Jets will waste their time on a washed-up ex-con who lost his job in Philadelphia. Now, of course, Vick will be visiting the Jets, according to multiple reports.
No matter how high you think the ceiling is for Smith, Vick is exponentially better right now. Competition is good. Talent is good. And a former star with a chip on his shoulder is even better.
Vick is on the back-nine of his conflicted career, one that seemed so limitless 10 years ago. He was the first bionic quarterback, the precursor to Colin Kaepernick and RG3, a man who could throw 80 yards and run a 4.2 40. He could stop on a dime, pick up two nickels and still breeze past world-class athletes.
We know the rest. And Vick’s contrition feels real. As does is maturation. He was a spiritual balm on the Eagles when Riley Cooper went racially nuclear on video. He could have pouted or shouted when Nick Foles ascended to the starting job, but instead Vick was startlingly stoic, repeating the platitudes about teamwork and waiting for his chance.
Maybe Vick has just grown up. It happens sometimes. And the Jets could benefit greatly from Vick’s epiphanies. Lord knows there’s little to lose by trying him out, signing him to a small deal with microscopic guaranteed money.
Smith was a turnover conveyor belt last year. And, absent any real skill players around him, the Jets could use an improvisational savant until Smith gets his bearings. Vick can still spin it and run it.
And the Jets, one of the few NFL teams that can’t fill their stadium, can use Vick to bring some juice back to a parched offense. Gang Green has been gangrenous at the box office, and the offense needs radar to find the end zone. New York also has a coach on life support, despite Ryan’s dubious contract extension.
Perhaps the biggest selling point in bringing Vick to MetLife is Marty Mornhinweg, the Jets’ offensive coordinator who was Vick’s OC with the Eagles. Remember hat volcanic Monday Night Football game against the Redskins, when Vick totaled about 400 yards and scored six touchdowns?
Smith will never have a game like that. Not that he has to in order to start for the Jets. But surely even the most jaded Jets fan sees the fairly low ceiling on Smith and almost no roof over Vick, who could be the trick this season.
For a team that has done way too much losing over the last few years, Gang Green has little to lose by giving Vick a shot. And maybe, just maybe, the Jets can say they actually did something during free agency.
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