Jets sign Vick and release Sanchez

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 21, 2014 at 10:19 pm •  Published: March 21, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Vick is switching green jerseys — and maybe trading his clipboard for a starting job.

The New York Jets signed the former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback to a one-year deal Friday, and released Mark Sanchez, the one-time face of the franchise.

"I love competition and I love football," Vick said during a conference call Friday night. "And, I feel I have a lot of football left to play."

Vick will present a real challenge to Jets starter Geno Smith, who played well down the stretch of his rookie season, but finished with 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.

"As of right now," Vick said, "Geno's the starting quarterback of this football team."

But, Vick also made it clear that he still envisions himself as a starter.

"I wouldn't say I would necessarily be OK with sitting on the bench all year," Vick said. "But, I know what I signed up for and I know what I came to New York to do."

He said his first order of business is competing with Smith and helping the second-year quarterback along.

"At the end of the day," Vick said, "I'll be content with it."

Vick said he met Smith last year during the draft process and has stayed in touch since. He also acknowledged that he won't wear his familiar No. 7 with the Jets, saying it was Smith's number to keep.

Vick was a free agent after spending the last five seasons with the Eagles. He will be reunited with Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who helped the quarterback have the best season of his career in Philadelphia in 2010. Vick was plagued by injuries the last three years and lost the starting job last year to Nick Foles.

"I want to personally wish Michael Vick and his family all the best as he heads into the next phase of his career," Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. "I really enjoyed getting to know him over the last five years. He always represented our team with a tremendous amount of class."

Vick thanked the Eagles, their fans and the city of Philadelphia in an open letter posted on The Philadelphia Inquirer's website.

"I was honored to be their quarterback and took the privilege to heart every day," he wrote.

Vick was considered the top quarterback available in this offseason's free agent class, although he didn't garner much attention. Vick said he was sold on the Jets because he enjoyed the idea of being reunited with Mornhinweg and playing for Rex Ryan, an opportunity he always hoped for.

"He's a great talent who's won many games, including playoff games, in this league," Mornhinweg said of Vick in comments posted on the team's website. "He has the respect of both his teammates and opponents. He's here in a role where he's going to compete and push Geno Smith to become the very best that he can be. Michael will be able to go in and play at a high level and a winning level if called upon."

Vick, who had a solid start in Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense, injured a hamstring in Week 5 last season. He was replaced by Foles, who led the Eagles to the NFC East title and was selected the Pro Bowl MVP. Despite losing the starting gig, Vick was praised by Kelly and team officials for being a leader in the locker room and maintaining an outstanding relationship with Foles and helping him through his second NFL season.