It’s been months now since the Jets and free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick have made any progress on contract talks. For the Jets, their wish is to minimize the amount of money they give Fitzpatrick, mostly due to his age and lack of consistency over the years.
For Fitpatrick, he obviously wants starting quarterback money, and feels disrespected by the Jets offers. As for the most recent offer? I would be pretty offended as well.
The deal on the table is reportedly for three years and $24 million, but there is a catch. In 2016, Fitz will make $12 million, but will only make $6 million in 2017 and 2018 (pending incentives). Why would anyone ever sign this?
Fitzpatrick has made a lot of money in his career, but this seems ridiculous to even consider. At this rate, Fitzpatrick would be making less money than 31 starting quarterbacks (besides Tyrod Taylor).
This is becoming less about the money and more about respect in my opinion. If you were to ask me right now, I wouldn’t expect Fitzpatrick to start week one with the Jets.
With three quarterbacks on the roster, I find it hard to believe that the Jets are willing to go and spend $13-16 a year on someone who’s window may be closing in the NFL.
I think the Jets were foolish to take Bryce Petty in 2015, simply because they aren’t going to utilize him correctly. The organization clearly would start Geno Smith over Petty, and it’s only a matter of time before Smith or Petty look for a better home.
With Hackenburg, the Jets may have felt the need to make a statement I guess. If their real intention was to make sure Ryan Fitzpatrick was “their guy”, they wouldn’t have drafted someone like Hackenburg (who they will plan to develop into a starter over time) in this past draft.
Overall, I see three options:
1) The Jets drop the first few games and management feels like they need Fitzpatrick to succeed (highly unlikely). They could then sign Fitz part-way into the season.
2) Fitzpatrick may not be play in the 2016 season, and this will cause his value to decline as time goes on.
3) While it’s highly unlikely at this point, it’s entirely possible that one side gives in and Fitzpatrick returns to the Jets in time for training camp.
Which option seems most realistic? There is a limited amount of time before training camp begins, and every moment the Jets and Fitzpatrick wait, the less likely a deal would surface.