Laces Out NFL Blog

Sonic boom: Jets make a splash, sign Vick and release Sanchez

An era has come to an end as Gang Green has released Mark Sanchez, the one-time darling of the Big Apple.

Say hello to New York, Michael Vick.

Howard Smith / USA TODAY Sports

The rumors had been building over the last day or two. Turns out, they were not too good to be true.

The New York Jets turned in a sonic boom on Friday, signing star quarterback Michael Vick to a one-year, $5 million deal. Don't believe it? Here's the proof:

Vick is a former No. 1 overall pick with the Atlanta Falcons who has had a topsy-turvy career. A four-time Pro Bowler, he's also the NFL's all-time leading rusher for quarterbacks. However, he also missed two full years of his career after being impisoned due a well-publicized dogfighting scandal.

Vick has redeemed himself since being released from prison and was a model teammate and leader during five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. He became an unrestricted free agent following the 2013 campaign.

"We are excited to acquire Michael Vick," Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. "He's a great talent who's won many games, including playoff games, in this league.

"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 he can be. Michael will be able to go in and play at a high level and a winning level if called upon."

While Vick's arrival means added pressure for second-year quarterback and incumbent starter Geno Smith, it meant walking papers for the other high-profile quarterback on the squad: Mark Sanchez.

The Jets cut ties with the one-time franchise quarterback with a terse statement from the team's Twitter account which read, "Mark Sanchez has been released."

"I'd like to thank Mark for everything he's done for this team and me personally," Jets coach Rex Ryan said in a statement. "We experienced a lot together and I really appreciate Mark. He's a great player, a great teammate, and I wish him nothing but the best."

With the release of Sanchez, only two of the top eight picks from the 2009 NFL Draft (Lions QB Matthew Stafford, Bengals OL Andre Smith) remain with their original teams.

Sanchez and the Jets reached consecutive AFC Championship Games in his first two seasons in the league, but his play dipped since. He threw 68 touchdown passes compared to 69 interceptions in his five years in New York with a career completion percentage of 55.1.

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