The New York Jets have officially hit checkmate on Ryan Fitzpatrick now that a viable option in quarterback Brian Hoyer is available for the taking.
Jets fans, media and analysts have criticized the organization in the way that they’ve handled incumbent former starting quarterback Fitzpatrick throughout the free agency process. The quarterback market is drying up and it appears that outside of the Jets and the Denver Broncos, no other opening remains vacant.
Hoyer was released by the Houston Texans and already met with the Jets about their vacancy at the quarterback position. Fitzpatrick and the Jets are obviously at an impasse over money. In all honesty, Hoyer could bring what Fitzpatrick does on a slightly smaller level at a much cheaper rate.
Dec 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws a pass during the third quarter of game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. New York Jets defeat the New England Patriots 26-20 in OT. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
The Jets hold all the cards and can continue to stick by their original offer. The Jets handled this magnificently for a franchise that has made it a commonality to screw up these kinds of situations. Head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan remained calm, cool and collective in their negotiations with Fitzpatrick.
It appears they read the tea leaves correctly and now are in position to sign the guy they wanted all along at a bargain rate. This will benefit the Jets in the present by having a quarterback who is fresh off a season in which he either shattered or approached numerous franchise passing records.
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It also benefits the Jets in the future by saving millions of dollars in cap space that they otherwise would’ve committed to Fitzpatrick out of desperation at the dawn of free agency.
Fitzpatrick has two options ultimately: he can swallow his pride and re-sign with the Jets and try to take this team to the playoffs next season, or he can keep his pride and his own self value and walk off into the sunset and retire.
Pretty safe to assume Fitzpatrick wants to continue playing football, which gives the Jets an interesting rotation at quarterback.
Bryce Petty, selected in the fourth round of last year’s NFL Draft, is still developing and will battle for that number two spot. While Geno Smith will be the insurance policy if Fitzpatrick doesn’t come back to the team or perhaps his days could be numbered with the green and white.
Jets bringing in a pair of potential first-round quarterbacks for visits https://t.co/a4Vyxo6bd9
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 1, 2016
The Jets’ front office continues to set up visits with some of the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft. Which beyond the politically correct “due diligence” response opens the door for perhaps another rookie entering the equation.
Petty is a project, while Smith has had a propensity for turnovers and the Jets could be ready to move on. While a Paxton Lynch or Christian Hackenberg could be drafted as the eventual successor, outside the top two prospects at the quarterback position (and even those are a question mark) are all considered developmental prospects.
Quarterbacks who will take time to develop and appear to have a lot of the tools scouts and coaches are looking for, shouldn’t be day one starters. Regardless, the Jets are in prime position due to excellent work by the front office and the ball is now in Fitzpatrick’s court, in other words… checkmate.