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 New York Jets need quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick if they truly want to succeed this upcoming season.
With all the recent bashing of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, it is only appropriate to try to talk sense into those who feel he is “ignorant” or not worth it for the New York Jets. Saying it is suddenly time to embrace quarterback Geno Smith makes me feel the light that once touched all of our hearts has been dimmed by the final game of last season and recent comments he made about his offer and preferring to sit on the couch. Two late pieces of info that shouldn’t negate all the positives he brought to the Jets last year.
This offseason has been nuts, with outrageous signings by the Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, and a few others, Fitzpatrick has been left out in the cold. Suppose you worked a job you loved and the higher-ups knew it, and could use that knowledge to negotiate downward– would you be willing to make minimum wage? True, he makes more than the minimum, but it’s a pass happy league.
Rumors say he wants $18M and won’t budge. I find that hard to believe. I say that he deserves an appropriate offer, say, between $9-12M. Based on all he did and being called to do it late in camp, I say he certainly earned it.
Without further ado, here are the top five reasons the Jets should keep Fitzpatrick heading into the regular season.
Next: 5. Familiarity with the system
Dec 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) passes against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
5. Familiarity with the system
Fitzpatrick has a rich history and knowledge of working with offensive coordinator Chan Gailey. Last season, the duo worked so well that the Jets had one of the best offensive seasons in about a decade.
Wide receiver Eric Decker has mentioned at the recent gala several times about the camaraderie and relationship that the two have built can only get better. He believes Fitzpatrick and the Jets are a win-now team and that is why a Fitzpatrick signing is needed.
The combination of new running backs Matt Forte and Khiry Robinson will truly be a force to reckon with. This new combo will be exciting to watch plus the re-signing of running back Bilal Powell could really put together something special.
Next: 4. Incredible team chemistry
Dec 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) celebrates his touchdown against the Tennessee Titans with New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
4. Incredible team chemistry
Smith was toxic. He fights with reporters, fans and team members. He also pouts on the sideline, never looking happy for team, while Fitzpatrick has an unmistakable presence that gets the guys pumped. Not only on but also off the field.
You have to keep the continuity of the bond that Smith cannot duplicate. Why break up the bond and respect Fitzpatrick worked for?
Marshall sent cute shout outs with a teddy bear pretending Fitzpatrick threw a touchdown pass to him. Everyone loves him and respects him. That alone is valuable, and maybe should factor in when they start crunching the numbers.
Next: 3. Extends plays well
Dec 6, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) runs the ball against the New York Giants during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
3. Extends plays well
Fitzpatrick broke some amazing records and stats that were some of the best among quarterbacks to ever play for the Jets. He set a team record with 31 touchdown passes, breaking the 29 previously set by quarterback Vinny Testaverde in 1998.
Fitzpatrick finished the season with a quarterback rating of 66.63 and he won five games in a row last season. Yes, I get it. The Bills game was a terrible loss, but that is the only red zone pick he threw all year.
Also, he threw a bomb in the final minutes that would have been a deep touchdown reception if wide receiver Kembrell Thompkins holds on to the football. Touchdown, Jets in the NFL Playoffs, Rex beaten at home and Fitzpatrick is a hero.
Of course, folks look past that. How many other huge plays did we see, from dramatic touchdowns to nose-in first down runs? And remember, he played with a wrecked thumb for half the season. Isn’t that exactly what you’d want from that position? A gritty quarterback that isn’t afraid to push the envelope.
Next: 2. Developing those around him
Aug 21, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) throws a pass during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Falcons 30-22. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
2. Developing those around him
Both Petty and Hackenberg have potential to be franchise quarterbacks and need Fitzpatrick to continue to molding them. Do you really want someone like Smith doing that? So what if Fitzpatrick is injury prone on the field? Smith jeopardized the team and season resulting in losing the starting quarterback position last season.
Due to Smith’s altercation with a teammate last summer, he put Fitzpatrick in a risky situation. Geno injured, noticeably pouted all season. That’s a leader?
Fitzpatrick would be supportive regardless for his team from the sidelines. If Smith is a starter again, what if he gets injured off the field in training, in a scuffle with a reporter or even a fan? That list of potentials seems to show he is not mature enough to be a leader.
“In a perfect world, you’d like to give those guys a chance to sort of grow, develop, before you have to throw ’em into the fire,” Maccagnan said on ESPN Radio Monday. “Hopefully if we can re-sign Ryan (Fitzpatrick) and we have Geno (Smith), kind of go from there and see how we do.”
General manager Mike Maccagnan needs to stay focused. He has two motivated quarterbacks that can be huge down the road, if given the right tools. Fitzpatrick is the right tool for the job. Signing him to a contract is not only investing in Fitzpatrick’s future but of Petty and Hackenberg and the quality of training that can’t just be taught by anyone.
Next: 5. Fitzmagic
There is just something about him, he captured a real spirit for the fans and the team last year. You can’t hate on him. If you feel you hate him, it’s more than likely because he hasn’t signed yet or bitter over the last game of 2015. Remember the feeling you had after the Indianapolis Colts game or after the Dallas Cowboys game or the second Patriots game for that matter.
We are all excited in the Gotham City. Fitzmagic filled not only our hearts but MetLife Stadium as well. I know I saw a lot of #14 jerseys out there, don’t retire them just yet. Fitzpatrick’s recent comments, were acceptable.
He is not feeling wanted or appreciated. For a veteran that deserves to be rewarded, it’s a slap in the face to have received a “low offer” from the Jets. I don’t believe that Fitzpatrick is after a Jets ransom, he is after respect and has a desire to end his career on a high note. This is strictly all about business with Fitzpatrick, and shows how educated he is as a Harvard graduate. You do not mix pleasure and business.
The organization has to realize there is no better chance to win the AFC East division than now. Quarterback Tom Brady will be out for the New England Patriots four games due to DeflateGate, the Buffalo Bills usually get bit by the injury bug and then there are the Miami Dolphins, which is enough said there. If they want a spot in the 2017 NFL Playoffs, then the Jets need to make the deal and pay the man. Stay focused, stay the on the flight path to build, grow and finally win.