Ryan Fitzpatrick of the New York Jets

Ryan Fitzpatrick Remains A Focus With New York Jets

Ryan Fitzpatrick remains in the plans for the New York Jets. As Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today reported, New York Jets’ General Manager Mike Maccagnan has not changed stances on Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick came over to the Jets in a trade with the Houston Texans on March 11, 2015, in return for the Jets’ sixth-round draft pick in 2016. Ryan’s contract, signed while with the Texans in 2014, was a two-year deal worth $7.25 million overall, according to the Spotrac website.

As reported at USA Today, New York and Fitzpatrick have not been close on agreeing upon contract numbers to-date.

“The Jets and Fitzpatrick have remained millions of dollars apart on a new contract and the team had hosted free-agent quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Brian Hoyer in the interim.”

While the Jets had hosted Robert Griffin III, the former Washington Redskin ultimately signed with the Cleveland Browns on a two-year contract worth $15 million as reported by ESPN. Hoyer, meanwhile, is still a potential target. The former Brown, and most recently a Houston Texan, has visited with the Denver Broncos in addition to the Jets.

Ryan Fitzpatrick certainly had some success under center for the Jets in 2015. In fact, the quarterback who played college football at Harvard University threw for his highest NFL touchdown total last season, with 31. Fitzpatrick seemed to have a good rapport with the Jets’ receivers, including Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.

One reason for Fitzpatrick’s success with the Jets in 2015, is that Ryan is a perfect fit for offensive coordinator Chan Gailey’s system, as Will Brinson reports for CBS Sports. Gailey was also the head coach of the Buffalo Bills for three years while Fitzpatrick was the team’s quarterback. Ryan had some success under Gailey in Buffalo, throwing for more than 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns in each of his three years under Gailey’s watch.

To that end, the Jets would surely like to retain Fitzpatrick’s services. But at what cost? The team needs to consider both the financial and opportunity costs when negotiating with Fitzpatrick. It would seem to benefit both parties to agree upon a new contract as soon as they can. However, it doesn’t seem like the Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick will be coming to terms on a new deal prior to the upcoming NFL draft.

It isn’t a foregone conclusion however, as negotiations could certainly improve between New York and Fitzpatrick before the draft kicks off on April 28. With respect to the draft, that is another avenue the Jets have been exploring to acquire a quarterback.

The Jets had reportedly inquired with the Tennessee Titans regarding the number one overall draft pick, prior to the Los Angeles Rams making the trade to acquire the pick. Trading up to the No. 2 pick was also a possibility, before the Philadelphia Eagles made the swap with the Cleveland Browns to acquire that selection. The Jets will now most likely be precluded from selecting either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz, widely considered the two best quarterbacks in this year’s draft, as Rich Cimini reports on the ESPN website.

As the Jets continue to negotiate with Fitzpatrick, their options for acquiring alternate talent at the quarterback position diminish. Griffin III has already signed with the Browns, and it’s possible that Hoyer will sign with the Broncos or another team. New York will need to come to terms with Fitzpatrick soon, make alternate plans such as signing Hoyer, or risk heading into training camp with neither Fitzpatrick or Hoyer at the helm. Their options at quarterback would be limited significantly at that point.

[Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]