The New York Jets have been trying relentlessly to re-sign 2015 starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. As of recent, the veteran quarterback has gone MIA and isolated himself from former teammates.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a career-year, not only for the New York Jets, breaking the teams franchise touchdown record in 2015 with 31, but also posting a career high in passing yards with 3,905 as well as becoming the first quarterback to throw for at least four touchdowns in a single game for four different franchises (Buffalo, Houston, Tennessee and the Jets).
Recently, Fitzpatrick has isolated himself from former teammates by ignoring texts and any form of communication. According to an article written by Rich Hill of SB nation, when Brandon Marshall was asked about his former quarterback ignoring his texts, he said:
“I don’t know what’s going on,” Said Marshall during a “I AM RAPAPORT” podcast via the NY Daily News. “To be honest, me and Fitz talk every day, all the time, but I texted him the last two weeks three times and there’s no response. The only thing that he can do to make this right is to say he was on vacation, ‘I was out of the country.’ It’s not like him. It’s scaring me right now. It’s scaring me that my guy hasn’t texted me back.”
News surfaced not too long ago about a reported three-year deal worth $24M was offered to Fitzpatrick, which he obviously did not accept. That deal would of made him the starter in 2016 and most likely the starter in 2017 if his performance was up to par, and then most likely a backup roll the last year to whomever is ready to command the helm at center.
However, despite ongoing negotiations, the two sides remain far apart as they have since the offseason. Recently, the Jets signed Muhammad Wilkerson to a five-year deal which actually freed up some cap space for the Jets.
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Fitzpatrick is a smart man, as he is a Harvard man.
He knows Wilkerson’s contract frees up cap space for the Jets that they could use to re-sign the journeyman.
As to why Fitzpatrick has ignored teammates for several weeks is beyond me.
Personally, it feels like the free agent is obviously frustrated with still being unsigned with training camp approaching fast.
Unless Fitz is truly on vacation and does not have cellphone service, this is another tactic to scare teammates such as Marshall so the “re-sign Fitz” campaign comes back into effect.
We saw how Marshall and Eric Decker both expressed their mutual interest for a Fitzpatrick reunion during organized team activities, with recent cap space freed up, the free agent could be seeking a similar campaign just in time for the start of training camp.
It’s no secret the Jets have an extremely tough schedule ahead of them, but with Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension upheld by the court, this supplies the Jets with their best shot at possibly coming out on top of the AFC East for the first time in years.
Even though quarterback Geno Smith has reportedly made solid progress during the offseason, Fitzpatrick at the helm would supply the Jets with a more comfortable and possibly confident feeling heading into the 2016 season.
The last year the Jets’ regular season schedule was as tough as this current one was back in 2014 when Smith and Michael Vick led the Jets to a 4-12 record. They faced teams such as the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and many more. This year, it’s even tougher as they face teams such as the Chiefs and Steelers once again as well as the Bengals, Cardinals, Seahawks and others.
Obviously a reasonable deal has been proven to be nearly impossible to achieve between both sides. If the Jets are able to work out a deal with Fitzpatrick, it will most likely be a one-year deal which will allow Fitzpatrick to become a free agent once again in 2017. It wouldn’t surprise any if Fitzpatrick did not respond to any of his teammates until some sort of deal is reached between the Jets or another franchise.