When a team has an unproven young quarterback, there are two ways it can go. It can find a player who will go into a situation expecting to be a backup whose job is purely to support the young guy. It can also find a player who expects to compete for the starting job. With the Jets I think the evidence points strongly to the idea Michael Vick fits the second description. $5 million is not the kind of money a team pays to simply hand a clipboard to a player. Add in Vick's history of success with the team's offensive coordinator, and it seems like he will have every chance to beat out Geno Smith as the starting quarterback of the Jets.
I know some of you are concerned that this situation will make Geno uncomfortable. I think that is a good thing. Maybe Geno needs to be tested and forced to earn everything he gets. That is life in the NFL. Muhammad Wilkerson has reached such a high level of play that he has earned the ability to be comfortable and confident he will start. Geno is not there yet. He still has a lot to prove.
Even if Vick is not the player he used to be during his best days in Philadelphia, he is likely to be a credible quarterback and better than anything the Jets have put on the field since 2008. I know the idea of having a credible veteran for insurance in case the unproven young guy does not perform might seem like a foreign concept since the Jets over the past few years have had an unproven young guy or bust strategy. This is good for the team, though. The Jets aren't going to make performing well optional to keep the starting job.
Geno is going to have to play genuinely well to be a better option than Vick. Here's hoping he is up to the task.