But how much of a quarterback competition — the Jets continue to insist there is one — is it if Vick himself already seems to have conceded that it's Smith's job, not only to lose but to likely retain?
The Jets are in the midst of OTAs, and at least one observer, the New York Post's Bart Hubbuch, believes that Vick isn't showing much zeal on the field right now.
At least to me, Michael Vick's body language has been "off" in these workouts. Looks like he doesn't want to be here and heart isn't in it.— Bart Hubbuch (@HubbuchNYP) June 18, 2014
There could be a thousand explanations for a poor few days of work, and we won't even try to explain away what might be happening in Vick's head that doesn't relate to the matters on the field — unless he tells us otherwise. And body language can be deceiving, too; it's risky to assume too much.
But in this case, we have some basis for Vick possibly feeling this way. His actions might be supported by the fact that the Jets, seen as one of the best options for Vick to join in terms of possible playing time available this season, might already realize Vick is a backup at best.
He's getting backup reps right now, even if he's publicly saying that he still is capable of starting. So maybe the question isn't whether Vick feels his starting opportunity in the NFL has dried up ... but perhaps might he be having free agent's remorse? When asked by Newsday's Bob Glauber where his starting chance might come from, this season or in the next few seasons, Vick hinted it might not be with the Jets.
"Will it be here? I don't know," he told Glauber. "I can't say where it's going to be, but I think I'll have an opportunity again."
We won't know the full story with Vick and his commitment to the team until he says or does something that changes his current situation, or until training camp rolls around. If at that point Vick's malaise has carried over, the Jets might be in a tough situation.
They have Matt Simms, who mopped up for Smith in three games last season with mixed results (solid against the Bills, struggled against the Bengals and Dolphins), and sixth-round pick Tajh Boyd on the roster. Boyd likely would be no higher than a No. 3 project, if he makes the team at all. Would Simms be able to take another step and provide insurance for Smith if Vick doesn't want to be a part of the Jets?
We're far from that point, but you can bet the Jets will have internal conversations from now until late July to figure out what their options might be in case the Vick experiment goes off the rails.
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