Opinion: Why the Jets consideration of Mike Vick is a very good thing

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Over the last few days, there’s been speculation about the Jets interest in Eagles QB Mike Vick.  The topic was discussed at length on the NFL Network at the Combine set and is well worth watching.

Rex Ryan hinted through the media last offseason that he liked the idea of adding Mike Vick.  Armed with 2013 rookie quarterback who got better as the year went on but who still had a long way to go, little chance at adding an impact quarterback through the 2014 NFL Draft?  Free agency seems a likely method.  Here’s some reasons why Mike Vick coming to New York might not be a bad thing.

michael_vick_eaglesGotta have two — Aside from the Jets this season, Eagles coach Chip Kelly managed one of the most interesting quarterback situations in the league.  When asked about bringing back Vick in 2014, Kelly said that in the NFL, you have to have two quarterbacks to win.  When Vick was injured this year, it offered Foles the opportunity to play.  When Aaron Rodgers was injured this past season, the Packers inability to field a legitimate backup nearly submarined their playoff hopes along with all chance at a serious January run.  All of New England soiled themselves when Brady fell to the earth one time in August.  With as much money as the Jets have available this year there’s no downside to deepening the second quarterback spot.

Veteran leadership included — If the Jets were able to add Vick, it means that they have no reason to continue to hold onto Mark Sanchez or bring back David Garrard.  Neither player offers anything that the Jets want (or need) that Vick can’t better offer the team and Geno Smith in specific.  For the cloud that shadowed Vick in recent years, it was Vick who mediated the Riley Cooper controversy thereby allowing Cooper to emerge as a playmaker for the Eagles in a year without Jeremy Maclin.  As Charles Davis told his co-hosts on NFL Network, no one more than Vick can tell young players “don’t make the mistakes I did.”

The past heat between Vick and Mornhinweg is overblown — Last year Adam Schefter floated a report that Mike Vick wasn’t keen on reuniting with Marty Mornhinweg.  That was last year.  At the time, Vick had been marginalized by Mornhinweg as the S.S. Reid sunk into Delaware River.  At the time, the Eagles were bringing in a new coach who reset the quarterback depth chart.  His chances seemed better at starting in Philly than New York.  We’d imagine that the longtime NFL starter wasn’t thrilled with the prospect of going back to work for the guy who helped push him to the side.  The situation is totally different this year.  Vick again went to the bench and knows that there is no regaining his job against Nick Foles.  His time on the bench had more to do with injuries and diminishing skills than Marty Mornhinweg.

Familiar territory — There will likely be a number of teams who are interested in Vick and so he’ll have to consider his options carefully.  Vick will in all likelihood look for a team that offers him the best chance to become the starter outright.  But while coming to New York might offer no guarantees he would have to think he’s got an inside chance at starting due to his knowledge of the offense.  Working with Marty Mornhinweg will provide familiarity and pull for the veteran.  In addition, if the Jets make a strong play for Maclin then there’s even more known commodities for the quarterback.

No half measures – I am amenable to the idea of Geno Smith going into the season as the starting quarterback regardless of any competition.  But if the Jets are toying with the idea of restructuring Mark Sanchez or bringing in Bears QB Josh McCown, I would prefer they sign a player who can provide a legitimate fight for the starting job.  Of the trio of Vick, Sanchez and McCown?  Vick seems is hands down the best threat to Smith’s de facto status as the starter.  Of course I would like the guy who just started the team’s last 16 games to be the team’s franchise player and an elite talent in the league for the next 15 years … that’s just simple pragmatism.  But what if he isn’t?  Are the Jets in a better position to get better play from the quarterback spot by having Mark Sanchez sitting behind Smith signed for three million a year or Mike Vick making seven?  Give me Vick and the four million dollar difference every time.

Let’s not worry too much about Geno’s fragile development prospects — Rex Ryan just got a contract extension, but the structure of the deal makes it plain that he is banking on himself and his team’s results in 2014.  As the roster is currently constituted much of that comes down to Geno Smith’s response as a player in his second season.  Putting Geno up against tomato cans like Sanchez or even McCown wouldn’t provide the right kind of competition to push Smith while simultaneously providing the talent off the bench should Rex need to pull the ripcord on Smith.  In 2013 there was little reason to bench Smith because of the alternatives.  On the defensive side of the ball, Rex has the horses to keep him competitive *IF* his quarterback can make a few plays and keep the mistakes to a minimum.  Adding a player like Mike Vick could do more than provide those modest needs but cost will be money (which the Jets have plenty of) while knowing that your backup could end up seeing time in 3-4 games a year.  Starting Vick come Week One doesn’t mean Geno won’t get a crack at the starting spot at some point based on Vick’s health the last few years.  As far as what it does to Geno’s progress?  Nick Foles didn’t seem to have too adverse an outcome for sitting a bit in 2013.  If Geno is a good quarterback being benched for a time should be immaterial.  Worrying about Geno’s psyche should be the least of Ryan’s many concerns in 2014.  If Geno can’t win a camp competition and then as a result doesn’t respond well to sitting?  Then is he even the guy that the team will be building their team around in five years anyway?




75 comments
zoddie
zoddie

How about a guy like Chase Daniel?

Rich Winston
Rich Winston

Off subject question (and I apologize if this has already been covered somewhere): If the Bucs trade Revis then what happens to our conditional pick? I assume we will still receive a pick but would it be a 3rd or 4th rounder?

hazard2012
hazard2012

All the available options have fleas, and one can make as much of a case against them as you can for them.    There's also not that much difference in Geno's level of experience as a starter and that of a lot of veteran QB's on the market.    


So it comes down to fit and money.   If they're looking for a possible mentor and real challenge to Geno, as well as someone who might actually do in Marty's schemes what Tebow was supposed to do in Sparano's, then Vick might be the best option.      


Otherwise, you're getting someone who hope and pray doesn't  take any snaps all season, in which case Idzik might as well pick a name out of a hat.     

rstysanchz
rstysanchz

theres not much to choose from out there you got vick cassell mccown hill flynn clemens freeman and henne we can put every guy up there for debate and find something wrong with all of them...my ideal scenairio is that both geno and simms improved enough that i wont see any of those guys above play one regular season snap for the jets 

bob
bob

Awe No!

j3tsfan29
j3tsfan29

I'd prefer to spend the money elsewhere then on an aged Vick who most likely will be injured at some point in the season. I believe our qb hopes lie in geno. Therefore I would rather sign ol faithful in kellen Clemens, he's been around for a while, played well in Bradford's absence, and cheap. Prolly 1 mil cheap. Obviously the familiarity is there but honestly if he didn't play for the jets before and I watched him drive down the feild and almost beat the Seattle Super Bowl champs I would say the same thing. He's improved, and is a vet presence. No baggage, and less of a health risk. Lastly, this guy was a starter for the jets until wilfork sat on his shoulder. Of course this is just my opinion.

Jeff E. Guy
Jeff E. Guy

Michael Vick tortured animals but somehow Michael Sam is the controversial figure....

John Ledo
John Ledo

Darn!! Cooper signing four year deal to stay with the eagles...I thought he would have been a perfect number 2 wr.

johnnyl65
johnnyl65

Maclin is close to a deal with the Eagles.

Kyle Suta
Kyle Suta

I think we should go after Matt Cassel. I've been saying this for awhile now but he's just as good as Vick without the baggage.

I realize he wants to be a starter somewhere else but it's not happening. The only place he would start would be Houston because of the obrien connection but they will draft a QB. If we can't sign cassel then McCown or Henne would do. The main thing is the money; We shouldn't be paying more than 3-3.5m per year for a backup

Shahid Aaron Christopher
Shahid Aaron Christopher

This Mike Vick hate is ridiculous! He didnt kill a human being! The hypocrisy among fans is disturbing...I bet you if Dante Stallworth or Aaron Hernandez (if available now) were the quality of player that Mike is you all would be clamoring to get him in here.  It happened years ago...Let it go. Mike can play good football and thats all I care about. Not some fake sympathy for a non human animal. (SN: I love and own dogs...but I love humans more)

marcus81
marcus81

on another note, on the latest mock draft we had to be satisfied with getting Ebron, now Ebron is too good for us and will be drafted earlier and we have to satisfied with Marquis Lee who I don't object to

McGeorge
McGeorge

I don't agree.



How much would Vick cost?

That money is wasted and better spent over paying some wide receiver.

Or overpay Jarius Byrd.

I rather have Simms as the backup and over pay Byrd, than to have Vick and another journyman safety.


I'm not sold on Geno, but in  fairness to him and Sanchez, the Jets receivers are pretty bad.  Get some receivers first, even a somewhat better QB won't mean much without them.


If Geno bombs, the Jets aren't going anywhere.  A veteran QB can lead them to? 8-8 instead of 6-10?  No difference in my eyes.  Either you are a legitimate play off team, or not.


I'm not too worried about missing out on Vicks veteran leadership either.

levi
levi

Bring him in. Who cares what the fans or the media thinks. I want wins and Vick at QB#2 is much better than Simms at back up.

wilkerson
wilkerson

I very rarely care about the ethics or politics of athletes. However, of all the players in the NFL, Vick is the one I would least want on the Jets. If he somehow became the starting QB for the Jets, I think I would actually have to root against them, which I've never done before. I didn't want him allowed back into the NFL, and I definitely won't watch him on Sundays, especially at a position like QB where you can't ignore him.


You don't need an insane killer on the team to tell young players not to make mistakes. Any normal human being can do that. And the stuff most young players need to learn is how to be responsible and mature, not how to avoid setting up a mass killing system.

Bent
Bent moderator

@Rich Winston  Yes, they definitely still get a pick.  All indications are that it would be a 4th rounder rather than the 3rd rounder they'd get if Revis was retained.  There's a slim chance the Jets protected themselves with language against the possibility in the trade agreement language, but nobody seems to be suggesting that's the case, so I doubt it.


It would be the 4th pick in the 4th round rather than the 5th pick in the 3rd (subject to any picks being forfeited).

davem
davem

Bob, you're a dog... And therefore probably biased on this issue. Rightfully so, but biased nonetheless

charlie duck sauce
charlie duck sauce

@Jeff E. Guy Vick didn't torture animals. He trained and held a dog fights where, during a few fights, some of the dogs were severely wounded.  Unfortunately, due to their injuries the dogs had to be put down. Hunters on the other hand shoot geese, ducks, deer and any other wild-life for the sake of the hunt and a trophy on the wall. Are there protests against them as well?

John Ledo
John Ledo

@Jeff E. Guy  Michael Sam wanted his 15 minutes of fame...thats all. The kid was brutal at the combine and probably will go undrafted. This was nothing more then a publicity stunt to get his name out there. Now he will write a book about how he loves men and make millions.

Mike Gentils
Mike Gentils

@Johnsbodybyvi Ledo  So you complain about Michael Sam only coming out because he wants attention, and then immediately wish we signed Riley Cooper.  What a tremendous judge of character you are.

Brendan
Brendan

@McGeorge  Um, I would like an actual NFL QB for the backup role. Going to war again with Geno and Simms would be a negative mark for Idzik's second offseason, imo. 

Bent
Bent moderator

@jaygo  He could find worse places to get ideas from tbh.

John C
John C

@wilkerson  i'm not going to take that stance. I watch the jets because they're my team and I like watching football. If mike vick makes some awesome plays, that would be awesome. I'd be rooting for the football player on the jets, not the individual. There are already a bunch of dudes in the league who have done messed up stuff. 


If you want to try to find a team with all good, law abiding citizens, you should probably start watching badmitten

Rich Winston
Rich Winston

@Bent @Rich WinstonThanks Bent. It doesn't seem fair that the Bucs could allude giving up their 3rd by trading Revis, especially if they were to receive a big return. I guess we'll see.

zoddie
zoddie

Incorrect. Vick and his friends tortured dogs. There were reports about dogs being electrocuted and dogs being repeatedly slammed into the ground until they died. They also hung dogs until they died and drowned other dogs.

If people did that to ducks and deer, yes, there would be protests.

jdb4
jdb4

@Johnsbodybyvi Ledo 

No, Michael Sam came out because he wanted to control the narrative. Everyone knew he was g*y, he acknowledged that from everyone's attitude at the Senior Bowl.


It's a lot different to admit to that you are g*y then to be ambushed by a reporter or scandalmonger and be forced to admit who you are.


Sir, you suck.

bklyndude
bklyndude

@Johnsbodybyvi Ledo @Jeff E. Guy  Whatever team drafts Michael Sam should sign Richie Incognito to make a man out of him........ just kidding.  What are fans going to do - boycott or stop watching games.  You know there are others in sports.  It's not worth losing your mind. 

The world is changing,  Jason Collins is in the NBA and nobody cares.

Brendan
Brendan

@Johnsbodybyvi Ledo He's still going to get drafted. He was an All-American and SEC Co-Defensive POY. Someone will take him. 

j3tsfan29
j3tsfan29

I think its more along the lines of, Vick wants to start instead of backing up foles.

j3tsfan29
j3tsfan29

Brendan, curious your thoughts. What about resigning ol kellen Clemens who did pretty well in Bradford's absence. Cheap cheap, knows the jets, we have a better OC. He's been around the block, and probably would have to adjust to M&Ms scheme but I think he could serve as a viable cheap backup.

McGeorge
McGeorge

@Brendan @McGeorge  Not at a high price.

Put that money towards better uses, like a stud WR or safety.

Going to war with Geno and Simms and ..

Jarius Byrd and a stud WR would be a positive mark for Idzik.

a57se
a57se

@Brendan @McGeorge 

Are you going to respond to EVERYONE who doesn't want Vick? 

I am with you McGeorge?

ww85
ww85

@John C  There's a difference between a crime of passion & planning this barbarism for years & years. We all draw the line somewhere. i'm sure you have a line somewhere too

j3tsfan29
j3tsfan29

Bet the jets get him in the 4th.

mustang66
mustang66

with the cap number going up every day its going to be amazing how much money the Jets have available. I believe the new number is 135 which will give the Jets about 60 million cap room. That gives them a whole lot of flexibility. So the difference of a couple of million dollars for a solid backup is a wise investment be It Vick or Mc noun

McGeorge
McGeorge

@Brendan @McGeorge  It would be difficult if they also want to sign a good wide receiver, and have money for extending Wilkerson.

The Jets shouldn't waste their cap money.  Instead save some of it and roll it forward, so they maintain a strong cap structure.


Vick wont help them.  If Geno is a bust, and Vick is a little better, they still aren't going anywhere.  The Jets are in a rebuilding phase and need a lot more than 1 or 2 players.

I don't want to barely make the play offs and get wiped out.  I want to see a decent team that has a possibility of going far.

Brendan
Brendan

@McGeorge They can do that while signing a veteran QB and it wouldn't be terribly difficult. 

McGeorge
McGeorge

@Brendan @a57se I'm not saying Simms is worth anything, but the money that  Vick would get, would go a long way towards a WR or safety.

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se My comment was about Simms being the backup, I didn't even mention Vick. I've stated repeatedly that I don't want Vick on the team, but would not flip out if he was. 

Bent
Bent moderator

@jaygo @Bent  We did link to a story about that in January.  Love to hear about stuff like this though and we'll always make an effort to highlight it so thanks for the link.

scott g
scott g

@DarrolRayFanClub @scott g @Brendan   our QBS gonna suck either way if we don't get him help WRs so well never know  but no i don't mind competition   and to be honest i haven't seen mettenberger 

Brendan
Brendan

@scott g I wouldn't be surprised if the team does. It'd be a late pick, most likely, and the team needs a long-term backup QB, anyway. 


This is a really odd thing to get cross about, though. 

scott g
scott g

@Brendan @scott g  dude i know  thats why i said only if he didn't get drafted  then let him fight for  a job but i wouldn't draft another qb thats just my take 

Brendan
Brendan

@scott g Dude, you need 4 QB's for training camp. Your starter (if you have one already) doesn't play much in preseason, you need a 4th QB to get through reps. 


If Mettenberger (who is going to be drafted, no way is he an UDFA) is on the team, the'll especially need someone like Simms to play in preseason. 

scott g
scott g

@DarrolRayFanClub @Brendan   only if  Mettenberger didn't get drafted  and came as FA fine let him and Simms fight for a job but other then that nope 

Bytor
Bytor

I grew up around hunters my whole life. My understanding is when take an animal down you do everything to make sure that animal feels little pain. Vick did the opposite. I just don't buy the cultural argument either. This wasn't some 15 year old in the back woods doing as daddy does. He's been in the real world.

harold
harold

He is wrong, but for the record I have seen nothing to suggest he killed thousands of animals.

Brendan
Brendan

@wilkerson Yeah, the male chicken thing was because Livefyre is just swell. 


My previous post was kind of playing devil's advocate. To give you my honest feelings, when I heard the news I actually felt physically sick. I've had dogs my whole life, two of the most important beings I've ever come into contact with, and the thought of someone doing those things to them would make me bubble over with rage if I focused on it. 


I would agree he doesn't do enough, but he does do some (and it is beyond court-appointed community service). 


I am honestly willing to bet that there are quite a few NFL players who attend events or do things that would make us think less about them, because bad people exist in all circles. Vick served his time and hasn't done anything since being released, so to me that's a changed person who served their punishment. 


Appreciate you not hearing this on a personal level, I know this subject can become emotional for people pretty quickly. I'd be happy if it didn't happen, but if it does I will hold judgement on the move until I see how it plays out. 

wilkerson
wilkerson

@Brendan @wilkerson  As a aside, I laughed at the term "male chicken fighting."


The "which is worse" part is just opinion, but I consider the systematic mass killing of dogs to be worse than killing one human in a moment of passion.  To me the main difference is that someone who murders in a crime of passion is likely capable of remorse. Mass-murderers are usually not capable of remorse, especially when the murders were well-planned and systematic. In the case of someone like Stallworth, the killing was accidental. It was still his fault and obviously he is a criminal. But accidentally killing someone out of stupidity is not on the same scale as systematically and intentionally killing thousands of dogs.


With regards to the part that is more factual and less opinion, it seems empirically obvious that Vick feels no remorse. He has done exactly the minimal amount of charity work that is necessary to enable his career and optimize his advertising income. I would need to see him do something that does not result in him making extra cash before I thought he was remorseful.

Brendan
Brendan

@wilkerson He does outreach work. He speaks to youths that come from similar areas that he grew up in, to try and change the status quo in those areas. I know people just write-off the "we didn't know it was that bad" excuse, but it does carry some weight. [male chicken] fighting is very similar, where it's actually legal in other countries. It's part of the culture. 


Do I condone or even forgive what Vick did? No. But it's not accurate to say he's done nothing except read an apology one time. 


And there is zero chance he's doing the dog fighting stuff presently. If he was, there is absolutely no chance it goes unnoticed for five years. 


I'd say guys like Donte Stallworth and Ray Caruth crossed a line far beyond the one Vick crossed, fwiw. Call me old fashioned, but taking the life of a human is more egregious than taking the life of a pet.

levi
levi

@ww85  I understand your love of animals because Im the same way. But I also hunt and some people see that as animal cruelty but Ive been hunting since I could walk through the woods on my own power. My point being Ive heard dog fighting isnt all that uncommon down south so if Vick was raised around it he probably didnt feel the same about it as we do. Dont get me wrong I think its cruel and terrible but I also believe he was punished and seems to be genuinely changed from the experience when he realized how the rest of the world views it. Or I could be way off base and its just an act because a man in his position has to look that way for his career. He could help this team though either way. By the way good job with the rescuing animals truly commendable and must be a very satisfying feeling.

wilkerson
wilkerson

@ww85 @DarrolRayFanClubI'm not sure why anyone thinks Vick is remorseful. Because he read a public apology that he hired someone to write for him?


He doesn't give a significant amount of his salary to make up for what he did, and he doesn't spend a significant amount of time making up for what he did. He obviously does not care. It's possible that he at least stopped killing for the sake of not messing up his career any further, although it's also possible that he is still killing and is just being less obvious about it now. Either way, I assume he will resume killing after he retires when the public eye is off of him.


As the above poster said, we don't expect football players to be good people. I am perfectly happy to root for run-of-the-mill jerks like Santonio Holmes without complaining. But there is a line, and if anyone in the entire NFL has crossed it, Vick is that guy.

ww85
ww85

@DarrolRayFanClubI agree with you DRFC, & I think Vick is remorseful, but  not on my team. IF he spent a ton of time at dog shelters, I'd change my tune.  He just crossed my line.