The New York Jets quarterback situation has taken on many twists and turns since the start of free agency. But with last year’s signal-caller Ryan Fitzpatrick currently in limbo, could the team turn back to one of their own in Geno Smith to steer the ship in 2016?
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, that is certainly a possibility. As reported by Gang Green Nation, Schefter appeared on The Michael Kay Show to discuss the Ryan Fitzpatrick/Geno Smith developments. And he thinks the team could certainly turn back to Smith if contract talks with Fitzpatrick continue to break down.
— The Michael Kay Show (@TMKSESPN) March 10, 2016
Gang Green Nation thinks it’s all a smoke screen on the New York Jets part, with their hopes being that Fitzpatrick lowers his asking price.
“It remains to be seen whether this is accurate. It is entirely plausible this was put out to try and exert pressure on Fitzpatrick.”
And this wouldn’t be the first time the Jets have leaked information in hopes of swinging the Ryan Fitzpatrick negotiations in their favor. New York Daily News reported weeks earlier that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kapernick wanted to be traded to the New York Jets and that the Jets were willing to let these type of NFL rumors circulate in order to demonstrate to Ryan that other options are available.
Just this past week, as reported by Inquisitr, the Jets entertained a visit from free agent quarterback Robert Griffin III. ESPN’s Rich Cimini also feels it was more posturing on the part of Jets management.
“The New York Jets are flirting with big-name players (let’s forget actual talent for a moment) in an apparent leverage play against Fitzpatrick, who remains their No. 1 choice at quarterback, according to league sources. On Thursday, they were talking to the San Francisco 49ers about Colin Kaepernick. On Friday, they rolled out the green carpet for RG III, who would trigger a Tebow-like circus if he signed with the Jets. Who’s the next negotiating pawn, Johnny Manziel? He’s looking for work, you know.”
The hold up in the negotiations is clearly about the money, as both camps want Fitzpatrick to return to gang green. But the problem is that recent contracts doled out to the likes of Brock Osweiler and Sam Bradford have put Ryan’s demands into a range the Jets are simply unwilling to pay for.
Further hurting Fitzpatrick’s chances of a big pay day with the Jets is the fact there are too few job openings available for Fitzpatrick and too many contenders with similar resumes out there. Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Eagles traded one time Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez to the Denver Broncos, a roster spot vacated when both Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler signed with the Houston Texans.
RG III may fill the second spot in Denver as the Big Lead speculates. The only two potential landing spots left would be the Jets and the St. Louis Rams who are looking to upgrade from Nick Foles. Ironically enough, it’s Foles’ contract at about $8 million a year that the Jets are offering to Ryan, according to reports. If Fitzpatrick were willing to sign for that number, he would be back with the Jets already.
Which brings us back to Geno Smith, who sits patiently with one year left on his rookie deal that pays him a team-friendly $1.5 million for the year according to Over The Cap. Had he not gotten punched in the face by IK Enemkpali before the start of the 2015 season, it might be him negotiating a new contract and not Ryan Fitzpatrick.
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