As we approach the final week of May, the New York Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick are still very far apart. And while both sides haven’t closed the door on a reunion, there hasn’t been any movement in the direction.
There have been rumors suggesting Fitzpatrick prefers missing next season than taking what the Jets have offered him, but the 33-year old quarterback has mentioned he’ll be playing for someone next season, and in a recent interview on the radio he said he hopes to be playing for the Jets in 2016, and that there have been discussions behind closed doors.
Fitzpatrick did a good job as the starting quarterback for the Jets next season, having a career year with 3905 passing yards, 31 passing touchdowns and 15 interceptions. His completion percentage and passer rating have been better in the past, but the Jets finishing 10-6, being one win away from making the postseason, declared it a relatively successful season, even if Fitzpatrick, with 105 career starts on his CV, still doesn’t have a postseason appearance.
The Jets have less than $4 million available, so if Fitzpatrick does sign a deal he likes, it’ll probably be backloaded in such a way that he might never reach it. The Jets have a lot more leverage now than before. The teams capable of signing Fitzpatrick to the kind of money he wants ($15 million, but probably is willing to settle for less) have their quarterbacks. The only team that might be considered an option are the San Francisco 49ers with over $49 million in cap space.
The Jets? They drafted Christian Hackenberg out of Penn State in the second round, suggesting they think he can become a starting quarterback for them. Geno Smith and Bryce Petty can’t seriously be taken as future quarterbacks on this team, with Smith not getting a single start last season. The Jets aren’t exactly rock solid at quarterback, but it seems their reliance on a receiving core and defense makes them confident enough to keep Fitzpatrick on hold.