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Translation: Let the best man win.
Smith was never locked in as a franchise quarterback in the first place. New York drafted him in the second round because he was worth a shot. Until you have The Guy, the best approach at quarterback is to keep throwing darts until you hit a bull's-eye.
There is nothing preventing Smith from realizing his potential. He can show up to training camp, show he's learned from his year in the league and get every opportunity to succeed. But the Jets had to find a quality fallback option because Smith was so shaky as a rookie.
"I came to New York to play football," Vick said. "That's what I came to New York to do. I came to New York to play football. As long as I have a uniform on, I'm good."
In New York's eight losses, USA Today notes that Smith had 19 turnovers and two touchdowns. While Smith finished the season stronger, he was probably the worst quarterback in football during November. The Jets' offense couldn't operate. Smith is not afraid to go deep, but his decision-making comes and goes.
We expect Vick to win the starting job because everything indicates he's a better player than Smith. Still, there's no reason to expect Vick to last the season as a starter. Injuries will inevitably strike, and the Jets will need Smith as a starter.
In today's NFL, it's best to have two solid options at quarterback until you have one to truly believe in.