The New York Jets have addressed their quarterback position this off-season by signing former Falcons and Eagles quarterback Michael Vick to a one-year, $5 million contract. The deal also allowed the Jets to finally cut bat with long-time starter Mark Sanchez as they released him just prior to officially signing Vick. The Jets interest in Vick was obvious from the start as they wanted to pair him up with with his former Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who is now with the Jets. Last year’s rookie quarterback, Geno Smith, had a truly unique season as he posted great numbers in odd numbered weeks and played relatively putrid in even ones. Ironically, with Vick in tow, Smith may now be the odd man out in New Jersey.
These moves by the Jets are significant in dynasty leagues as the’ve sent the quarterback carousel into high gear. Let’s evaluate the players involved and see what kind of changes we may see with their dynasty value.
Michael Vick, QB NYJ
In an even competition with Smith, it’s hard to see Michael Vick losing. Over his 11-year NFL career, Vick has posted 21,849 passing yards, 5,857 rushing yards and 164 touchdowns. He’s also thrown 85 interceptions and lost 38 fumbles, making him one of the most turnover prone players in league history. The real issue with Vick is his health as he’s only been able to play in 128 of 176 possible games due to a wide variety of different ailments. The chances of Vick making it through an entire season healthy are remote since it’s happened only once, but when he’s in the lineup, he adds a dynamic dual threat that truly helped revolutionize the position. Those who have played in dynasty leagues for long enough can recall Vick’s epic Monday Night Football performance in 2010 where he threw for 333 yards, ran for 80 more and accounted for six touchdowns in a 59-28 beat down of the Washington Redskins. In short, he’s more talented and experienced than Smith or anyone else the Jets have at the position.
At age 33, this is likely the last stop for Vick as a relevant player in both fantasy or reality. The Jets are saying Smith is the starter, but we all know Rex Ryan is going to be playing for his job yet again and it’s going to be really hard to be patient with Smith if he doesn’t take a huge leap forward this year. If you’re a fantasy owner with Vick, he’s a player to hold on to as he can post great numbers from time-to-time. However, keep your expectations tempered. He should be a QB3 on your team who you hope you could plug in during a bye week or help out in a platoon situation if your QB1 gets hurt. Make no mistake, Vick’s days as a bona fide QB1 are over, regardless of if Geno Smith does a face plant.
Geno Smith, QB NYJ
For all his struggles, Smith did some good things last year. Unfortunately, he’s found himself in a position where the Jets need to win and can’t be patient with his development much longer. On the season, Smith threw for 3,046 yards, 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He also lost seven fumbles and scored six rushing touchdowns, making his season a bit of a mixed bag. In fact, his quarterback rating of 66.5% is worse than any season Vick has posted since his eight game rookie campaign. Can he improve on those numbers or will the presence of Vick waiting in the wings and the pressure the New York media throws at him be too much to bear? It’s a question nobody can answer, but Smith remains a “hold” in dynasty leagues as his trade value is next to none at the moment.
Eric Decker, WR NYJ
We’ve talked ad nauseam about Decker’s value on this site as of late, but this move certainly can’t hurt it. Decker is going to have a really hard time moving from a WR2 and third option to a WR1 who gets the opposing teams’ best corner each and every week. The presence of Vick would at least give Decker a legitimate threat as Vick can still flick it as well as most quarterbacks in the league. The best case scenario for Decker is seeing the Jets add another legitimate receiver opposite him (DeSean Jackson or a high NFL Draft pick) and a legitimate running back to help keep defenses honest. Decker’s arrow is pointing up (at least a little) after some felt it had really bottomed out last week.
Mark Sanchez, WR FA
Sanchez’ days as an NFL starter are likely over. He should hope to latch on with a team like the Rams or Browns where he could have a shot at some playing time early. Regardless, Sanchez should be on waiver wires as he’s a player we’ve seen who can’t put any team over the hump in fantasy or reality. It’s too bad the Texans went with Ryan Fitpatrick as the time with Bill O’Brien could have really helped Sanchez.
Nick Foles, QB PHI
You think the Eagles are fine going “all in” with Nick Foles? Yeah, me too.
Other Jets Receivers
Much like Decker, this move can’t hurt. However, the depth chart as we see it now is likely not the one we’ll see moving forward. It’s hard to see a tremendous amount of increased value in Stephen Hill, Clyde Gates, David Nelson, Jeremy Kerley or the others since we really don’t know how the depth chart is going to shake out moving forward.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK