Florham Park, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Vick joined the quarterback carousel for the New York Jets Friday, while Mark Sanchez was given his release after an injury-filled 2013 season.
Vick, who signed as an unrestricted free agent, had spent the past five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, but was supplanted as the starter due to the rise of Nick Foles.
The Jets made the move to release Sanchez prior to the team having to pay him a $2 million roster bonus, which he was due March 25 if he was still on the roster. Because of the move, the Jets will save $8.3 million against the salary cap.
Sanchez, who becomes a free agent immediately, missed the 2013 season due to surgery on his throwing shoulder.
The 33-year-old Vick played in seven games last season, six of them starts, and completed 77-of-141 passes for 1,215 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions.
Vick will be reunited with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who was at the same position with the Eagles during most of Vick's time in Philadelphia.
The Jets still haven't confirmed Geno Smith as their starter for next season, but bringing in Vick will likely result in fierce competition. Smith started all 16 games as a rookie last year.
"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," Mornhinweg said of Vick.
Vick had been the starter for the Eagles last season, but after suffering a hamstring injury Oct. 6 against the Giants, Foles took over as the starter. Vick returned three weeks later for a start against the Giants, but then aggravated the hamstring injury and was relegated to backup role the remainder of the season.
Vick spent his first six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons before a two-year absence caused by a 21-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to federal charges stemming from a dogfighting operation. The Eagles took a chance following his release in 2009 and Vick spent his first season as Donovan McNabb's backup while seeing some action in various offensive sets. Vick then took over as the starter in 2010 after McNabb was traded to Washington and after Kevin Kolb was sent to the sidelines due to a concussion.
Sanchez went 37-31 as a starter for the Jets. That record includes the playoffs. The No. 5 overall selection in the 2009 draft, Sanchez led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game following the 2009 season before they lost to the Indianapolis Colts. The Jets also made AFC title game the following season, but lost to Pittsburgh.
"I'd like to thank Mark for everything he?s done for this team and me personally," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "We were rookies together and had some early success, becoming the first rookie head coach and quarterback to go to back-to-back championship games. 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."
Sanchez completed 55.1 percent of his passes for 12,092 yards with 68 TDs and 69 interceptions during his time with the Jets.