After their 14-10 loss against the Tennessee Titans, a game in which quarterback Mark Sanchez committed five turnovers, four of which were interceptions, the New York Jets have been reported as being interested in dealing Sanchez as well as Tim Tebow, who they acquired last season in a trade with the Denver Broncos. Tebow saw little of the field as a Wildcat option quarterback, and will in all likelihood be wearing a different uniform come 2013.
With the Jets exploring quarterback options, one name that came to mind was Philidelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who it appears is not in the Eagles long-term plans at quarterback, with a new regime very likely to come in Philidelphia. Vick has shown that he can still perform in this league, especially with his arm and athleticism.
But Vick should not be on the radar for a team like the Jets, who could be a solid quarterback away from contention. But why not pursue Vick in the off-season?
Well to start off, Vick's style of play will not do the Jets any good, Since entering the league in 2001, Vick has never made it through a full NFL schedule and played in all regular season games. He has been very prone to injury as a result of his playing style, especially when he flushes outside the pocket and scrambles downfield. He has suffered, and been prone to, several concussions the last few seasons, and nagging injuries continue to force him to miss time. And at age 32 with his injury history, it's uncertain as to how much more abuse Vick can take as a quarterback.
While New York certainly has a good offensive line to protect Vick, he stands at an undersized 6'0, a very short height for a quarterback. Few quarterbacks can succeed at such a small height, and forcing Vick to stay in the pocket and forcing him to see over linemen that tower at least three inches over him is a liability that could force Vick to throw unecessary interceptions and flush out of the pocket too early.
More importantly, as we saw this season from Vick, he can be a big turnover machine, and matched with Sanchez on several occassions this season. The Jets don't need to trade one turnover ridden quarterback for another, and would be better looking to the draft for a rookie to develop than rely on Vick, who's penchant for turnovers has risen noticeably the last two seasons. Turnovers were a large part of the gradual fall of Sanchez in New York, who was given every opportunity up until this point.
And while the Jets do need upgrades at the receiver position and arguably more explosiveness at the running back position, this is a quarterback driven league, and they can only go as far as their quarterback takes them. And Sanchez did not take them very far his last two seasons. The Jets brass needs a quarterback to take them farther. Or they'll keep falling second to Tom Brady and the New Englad Patriots, and even third to a potentially dangerous Miami Dolphins team riding the development of its own young quarterback.