New York Jets Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick Remains ‘Focus’ Of New York Jets Plans — Until He Isn’t

The Ryan Fitzpatrick odyssey continues with New York Jets GM Mike Maccagnan calling the free agent QB the team’s “focus,” according to the NY Daily News.

“We like Ryan very much, we feel we have a very good situation for Ryan here,” Maccagnan told reporters just five days before the NFL Draft. “He’s a very good fit for us too, so hopefully at some point in time we can work out an agreement on a contract.”

Of course then Maccagnan added that re-signing Fitzpatrick wasn’t exactly a sure thing either.

“We have to do what’s in our best interest both short and long term and try to do something that will facilitate a deal, but again, it may take some time.”

The Jets GM also mentioned point blank to reporters that he spoke with the Tennessee Titans about trading up for the number one pick in the draft. The Titans, as reported by Titans Online, eventually traded the pick to the Los Angeles Rams for a boat load of draft picks.

“The short answer is yes. The short answer is we inquired.”

Which leads ESPN Jets blogger to wonder exactly what the motivations were if the Jets were indeed focused on getting a deal done with Fitzpatrick.

“It tells us they were smitten with Jared Goff or Carson Wentz — probably Goff. It tells us they were willing to part with considerable assets to make the jump for a future franchise quarterback. It tells us they were prepared to part with Muhammad Wilkerson to make it happen.”

Brian Hoyer NFL Rumors
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The Jets also had newly-released free agent QB Brian Hoyer in the building last week as a possible replacement for Ryan should his agents remain steadfast in their contract demands. And while they also performed what they call “due dilligence” on other free agents, such as Robert Griffin III – who eventually signed with the Cleveland Browns – it definitely shows one of two possibilities. One, they’re intent on finding a veteran quarterback to help spearhead Chan Gailey’s offense should Fitzpatrick sign elsewhere or retire. Two, they’re trying to force Ryan’s hand by showing public interest in alternatives.

And while option two seems to be the most logical, according to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport, this doesn’t mean that option one isn’t also the truth.

The bottom line for Fitzpatrick, it seems, is that he – and his agents – overplayed their hand. They assumed with the exorbitant contracts awarded to free agents Sam Bradford and Brock Osweiler, that Ryan, coming off his best season as a pro, would earn a significant pay raise. But not only have the Jets stayed firm at a reported $7 to $8 million dollar offer, but other teams like the Denver Broncos seem unwilling to meet Fitz’s demands. This has created an awkward situation for Ryan as his options continue to dwindle.

Philadelphia Eagles Sam Bradford
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Perhaps Fitzpatrick should take comfort in the knowledge that despite the $18 million-a-year Sam Bradford is poised to collect this year, the Eagles also made a trade, jumping to the number two pick in the NFL Draft next week, as reported by CBS Sports. So, as much as they put their team in Bradford’s hands, it’s essentially a placeholder deal for whichever quarterback they choose to take. An $18 million placeholder.

On second thought, Ryan Fitzpatrick can take zero comfort in that.

[Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]