The Jets signed Michael Vick in 2014 to serve as their backup to Geno Smith. Although Vick is one of the most recognizable names in the sport, his play had fallen off to the point where he could not land a starting job.
Vick played significant parts of five games for the Jets mainly due to Smith's ineffectiveness. I think there are two ways to view Vick's performance.
A. Vick played two spectacular quarters where the team put up 17 points both times. The other sixteen quarters were anywhere between uninspiring and just plain brutal.
B. Vick got three games in which he got a full week of preparation to start. In two of them he played steady football.
I think the truth probably lies closer to point A. What we saw in 2014 was a quarterback with many of the same flaws Vick showed in his prime. He didn't protect the football. Even in games where he didn't turn it over, he was loose with the ball and showed tendencies that would result in turnovers. He didn't show a ton of pocket presence either. We did see flashes of vintage Vick making plays with his legs, but at 34 and soon to be 35 years old, his athleticism is diminishing. Those flashes are not going to be coming more frequently.
You might think this makes letting Vick go an open and shut case. In a perfect world, it would. We don't live in a perfect world, though. Somebody is going to have to be the backup quarterback for the Jets in 2015. If you take a look at the options, there aren't any obvious that would be an obvious appreciable upgrade. As bad as Vick was at points, there were those two great quarters and decent play in two of his three starts might be more than a lot of the other options.
It might have been better for the Jets to not pull the plug on Vick so soon and reinsert Geno Smith into the starting lineup. There really was not much to be accomplished by going back to Smith. The book had been written. No matter what happened, there was nothing he could do to make himself the undisputed starter in 2014. That time could have been used to get a better sample size and a better idea on how frequently Vick could look adequate and how frequently he could have looked like he did in those 17 point quarters. It could have provided more information for the decision.
I know people won't want to hear it, but Vick is still one of the top options on the veteran market. If certain other options fall through, he probably has to be a Plan B for the Jets on another one year deal.