Jets release Mark Sanchez, sign Michael Vick

This composite image shows Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, This composite image shows Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, left, and Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick. The Jets announced on Friday, March 21, 2014 that they released Sanchez and signed Vick. Photo Credit: Getty Images, AP

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The closing of one door signaled the opening of another.

Mark Sanchez's time with the Jets officially ran out Friday as the team announced his release after five seasons. But before the dust could even settle on the Sanchez Era, the team ushered in a new quarterback at One Jets Drive: Michael Vick.

The free agent and former Eagles quarterback signed a one-year deal that reportedly is worth $5 million. And now Vick -- who turns 34 this summer -- will serve not only as incumbent Geno Smith's mentor but his competitor.

"As of right now, Geno is the starting quarterback of this football team,'' Vick said on a conference call Friday night.

Vick knows all about being a backup. He lost his starting job in Philly to Nick Foles and said it "would have been tough'' to return to the Eagles because "we all know Nick deserves to be the starter there.''

Vick has no intentions of being a locker-room distraction, but even though he's happy to help Smith prepare in the classroom and on the field, he won't be satisfied to hold a clipboard.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"I wouldn't necessarily say I'd be OK sitting on the bench for a year. But I know what I signed up for,'' he said.

"Anywhere I go, any team I go to, I'm always going to compete for the No. 1 spot,'' he said, adding that he would encourage all quarterbacks to do the same. " . . . If I was named the starter right now, I would want the guy behind me to push me.''

And high-level competition is exactly what the Jets hope to see from Vick and Smith.

"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,'' said offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who served in the same capacity in Philadelphia for several years. "Michael will be able to go in and play at a high level and a winning level if called upon.''