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Jets should re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick to an extension now

Sep 15, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 15, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Jets need to avoid a similar situation that lead to a multi-month contract dispute with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick by signing him to an extension now.

The New York Jets ended the 2015 season on a sour note, losing to the Buffalo Bills 22-17.  Even with 10 victories, this loss eliminated the Jets from playoff contention.  Though 2015 didn’t end so well, the Jets did gain renewed optimism, as they looked towards the future.

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One of the key reasons for this was the play of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. His 31 touchdown passes was a new Jets’ franchise high and were the first time in many years fans were able to watch a game where the quarterback played well.

Even though Fitzpatrick had a big season, the Jets were not ready to reward him, which lead to a contract dispute that finally ended when they re-signed him. The veteran journeyman quarterback agreed to a one-year deal worth $12M (up to $15M with incentives).  Let’s take a look at a few reasons why the time is now to re-sign Fitzpatrick.

First off, quarterbacks are not easily to come by in the NFL. Week 3 of the NFL is going to feature  the likes of Cody Kessler and Brian Hoyer all making their first start of the 2016 season. Even in New England wide receiver turned quarterback, for now, Julian Edelman, is starting. There  aren’t any great options available through free agency.

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Secondly, in recent years, the Jets have drafted the likes of Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Taj Boyd, and Greg McElroy.

Boyd and McLeroy are no longer even in the NFL, Sanchez and Smith are currently backup quarterbacks.

Why should Jets fans believe that the organization can draft a quality quarterback, and develop him into an even serviceable player?

Finally and most importantly, Fitzpatrick brings quality leadership.

Win, lose, or draw, one thing we know we will get from Fitzpatrick is effort and leadership. That’s something that is worth much more than money in the grand scheme of things.

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Whether it be Fitzpatrick diving head first for a key first down, playing through painful injury, or throwing a big touchdown pass, he has earned the trust and respect of the Jets’ locker room. It’s time the Jets went outside of the norm and reward him now before they’re right back into a contract stalemate next offseason.

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