Ryan Fitzpatrick is running out of options to play quarterback. But, then again, so are the New York Jets. With RG III signing in Cleveland this week, it’s looking more and more like Ryan Fitzpatrick will have only two options: play for the Jets in 2016 or retire, as some pundits have suggested is a possibility.
As reported by USA Today, RG III signed with the Cleveland Browns on Thursday.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to join the Dawg Pound and help build something here in Cleveland,” Griffin said in a release. “Coach Hue (Jackson) and Pep (Hamilton), I had a great meeting with them. I really believe in what they preach and how they can help not only me as a player but this team win games and that’s what we’re all about.”
RG III’s contract numbers are for a modest $15 million over two years with just $6.75 million guaranteed during that span. But there are incentives built-in based on playing time and production that could increase the number to $22 million.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, is looking for a contract well above that, seeking numbers in the $18 million a year range that other sub par quarterbacks like Brock Osweiller and Sam Bradford received from the Texans and Eagles, respectively. The New York Jets are offering him somewhere in the $7 to $8 million dollar range and thus far have not exceeded that number.
Earlier in the week, coach Todd Bowles spoke of “options B, C and D” should Fitzpatrick choose to go elsewhere in 2016, as previously reported by Inquisitr. But with RG III supposedly on that list, it’s slim pickings for Gang Green. Of course, the same can be said for Fitzpatrick as well.
According to ESPN, Denver wanted no part of Ryan’s asking price and has zeroed in on acquiring Colin Kaepernick from San Francisco.
“Left tackle Ryan Clady — who is likely to be traded or released following the signing of Russell Okung — could be added to Denver’s offer. The Broncos would have to move Clady anyway to clear up cap space for Kaepernick, and the 49ers certainly have the cap space to fit him in. And though they have five-time Pro Bowler Joe Staley plugged in at left tackle, Clady could potentially be moved to the right side. He isn’t a particularly valuable asset at this point in his career, but he has drawn some interest, so perhaps he could help bridge the gap between the Broncos’ offer and the 49ers’ demands.”
Once the Kaepernick domino falls, Fitzpatrick will simply be out of options with the Browns, Broncos and even St. Louis Rams all having decided on a starting quarterback. Add the fact that Brian Hoyer, Josh McCown and even Tampa Bay’s Mike Glennon will be available, means the Jets hold all the cards. Head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan have even gone on record saying the team would be comfortable turning the team back over to former 2nd round pick Geno Smith should Fitzpatrick go elsewhere.
Mike Greenberg of ESPN’s Mike and Mike suggests the only other escape from New York for Ryan would be retirement, but why he would leave a team with which he posted career numbers of 31 TDs and nearly 4,000 yards is beyond speculatation.
No one wants to pay Ryan Fitzpatrick what he wants. Question is: Is he really willing to retire? If not, #Jets played this exactly right.
— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) March 13, 2016
The most logical conclusion to this equation is that Ryan Fitzpatrick and the New York Jets will come to some happy medium around the time the NFL Draft comes into play, which is the end of April.
[Ryan Fitpatrick photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images, RG III photo by Evan Habeeb/Getty Images]