WestSideStory

When Vick’s a Jet…now the Eagles re-set…

I've got two images clashing in my head surrounding the signing of Mike Vick by the New York Jets — and the simultaneous release of Mark Sanchez by the Jets.

One image is actually a song on the soundtrack from West Side Story : "When You're A Jet…" [The Jet Song]…

The other is a Monopoly board. The dice are rolling. Vick is out of jail. Sanchez did not pass "Go". And the Eagles need to buy a hotel to put on "Quarterback Avenue"…

Sanchez was released Friday, completing a "stunning downfall even by New York standards" in the words of Jets beat writer Rich Cimini.

The former USC star, dubbed "Sanchize" after helping the Jets to back-to-back playoff appearances in his first two seasons, was cut for a variety of reasons, including a bloated cap charge of $13.1 million and a surgically repaired shoulder. In reality, the team started moving away from Sanchez last spring, when it drafted Geno Smith in the second round.

The Jets also signed Michael Vick on Friday. The veteran, widely regarded as the top free-agent quarterback, wrapped up his deal after a visit with the team earlier in the day…a 1-year contract for $5 million, an estimated $2 million of it guaranteed.

Sanchez was due a $2 million roster bonus March 25, forcing the issue. The Jets will save $8.3 million against this year's cap, incurring $4.8 million in "dead" money on the cap. As soon as the Jets received a commitment from Vick, they informed Sanchez of his release.

Sanchez's popularity faded in recent years as the fan base turned on him. His low point was the infamous "butt fumble" in 2012, a slapstick play that became an instant classic for blooper reels. Despite the adversity, Sanchez was on the verge of winning the starting job last summer after outplaying Smith in an open competition, but he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the fourth quarter of a preseason game. The torn labrum was repaired in October, and sources say Sanchez is ahead of schedule, throwing with good velocity.

Now here's the weirdest part of the musical playing in my head: What are the odds of the Eagles turning around and signing Mark Sanchez on the cheap?

I know, not very good odds at all… But imagination runs wild when you've got a musical soundtrack stuck in your head.

Eagles need a veteran presence at backup QB, though, and Sanchez conceivably could fit Chip Kelly's offense in a relief role. He was 33-29 in four seasons as the Jets' starter and had four road playoff wins. Sanchez has 68 career touchdown passes, 69 interceptions and a 71.7 passer rating.

For Vick, I couldn't be happier. He's a Jet!!… (and TGFJB99-Sage-Lion declared it a fact on these pages 48 hours before the announcement was made official, scooping the national media who were enslaving us at the time with predictions Vick would end up in Carolina).

Vick is reunited with his old offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg. He's got a chance to turn this deal around from a 1-year bridge/mentor role into something special. If he stays healthy and gets on a roll, who knows?—he could be the next King of New York.

Most of all, he's now a Jet—and you know what that means:

When you’re a Jet,
You’re a Jet all the way
From your first cigarette
To your last dyin’ day.
When you’re a Jet,
Let them do what they can,
You got brothers around,
You’re a family man!
You’re never alone,
You’re never disconnected!
You’re home with your own–
When company’s expected,
You’re well protected!
Then you are set
With a capital J,
Which you’ll never forget
Till they cart you away.
When you’re a Jet,
You stay
A Jet!

When you’re a Jet,
You’re the top cat in town,
You’re the gold-medal kid
With the heavyweight crown!

When you’re a Jet,
You’re the swingin’est thing.
Little boy, you’re a man;
Little man, you’re a king!

Here come the Jets
Like a bat out of hell–
Someone gets in our way
Someone don’t feel so well!
Here come the Jets:
Little world, step aside!
Better go underground,
Better run, better hide!

We’re drawin’ the line,
So keep your noses hidden!
We’re hangin’ a sign
Says “Visitors forbidden”–
And we ain’t kiddin!
Here come the Jets,
Yeah! And we’re gonna beat
Every last buggin’ gang
On the whole buggin’ street!

Go get 'em, Mike! (Apologies to Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein)…..

 

Thomas Jackson

About Thomas Jackson

Jax Sports Media has been reporting on NFL teams in the mid-Atlantic region since 2006. Thomas Jackson is its senior writer. Tom started covering the Philadelphia Eagles for the MVN Network in 2007. In 2009 he joined the Bloguin Network. He now also covers the Baltimore Ravens.

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