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The greater meaning of Ryan Fitzpatrick

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Aug 4, 2016; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14), quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) stretching during practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 4, 2016; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14), quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) stretching during practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
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Once the New York Jets re-signed quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to a one-year deal, his greater meaning to the franchise is much more than just wins and losses this upcoming season.

Whether you love him or hate him, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is the starting quarterback of the New York Jets heading into the regular season. The Jets added more money to their initial offer in order to at least secure him for one more year as the team is built to win now. For about $12M on a one-year deal that also has about $3M in incentives, it’s a perfect deal considering everything he brings to the table.

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Besides setting records with the Jets last season under center, the Jets knew that besides what he brought to the football field, his role as a mentor to all the young quarterbacks around him is priceless. Even though Fitzpatrick isn’t really a Super Bowl winning quarterback and never had a single appearance in the NFL Playoffs, his experience is incredibly valuable to those around him.

For players like Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, Fitzpatrick is very crucial in all their individual developments. While Smith won’t get the opportunity to see if he can finally live up to his potential, if he doesn’t play a single snap during the regular season it would actually serve him well. He’s never had a quality veteran quarterback showing him the ropes and breaking things down for him to execute.

Whether Smith remains with the Jets after 2016 remains to be seen, but if he has success with the franchise or elsewhere, it’s because of Fitzpatrick. Petty is another quarterback that spent all of last year on the sideline being trained and developed by Fitzpatrick. He also learned quite a deal with Fitzpatrick and should he be successful in the future, can thank him for helping him get ready for such opportunities.

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Hackenberg is the greatest test of them all as he has to be completely re-trained and re-developed towards having a shot at being a successful NFL quarterback in the future.

It’s not easy but with Fitzpatrick around for at least another year, he will undoubtedly mold Hackenberg the right way.

You’ll almost always see Hackenberg around Fitzpatrick in training camp which is a great sight to see in the grand scheme of things.

Fitzpatrick being the constant guy ready to answer questions, breakdown offensive plays and show all these guys the ropes is truly the greater meaning why the Jets absolutely had to bring him back.

Whether he delivers another memorable season or not, if Smith, Petty or Hackenberg develop into the franchise quarterback the Jets have been so desperately searching for in the future, we can all thank Fitzpatrick for setting them up for bright futures.

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Overall, that should hopefully be what helps the Jets finally find their future franchise quarterback. Thanks to Fitzpatrick coaching, training and developing these guys towards the future, his impact in this particular role is much greater than anything he’ll do on the football field this season.

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