Ryan Fitzpatrick has been holding firm with the New York Jets since the beginning of free agency, demanding the type of money other free agent quarterbacks Brock Osweiler and Sam Bradford have received.
With leverage slowly dwindling, and few teams, if any, interested in Fitzpatrick’s services at his asking price, it appeared inevitable that Ryan would remain the Jets starting quarterback in the 2016 season. But now, ESPN’s Adam Schefter, as reported by NJ Dot Com, is suggesting the New York Jets may have other plans for the position altogether, with rumors stating the team may trade up to acquire prized prospects Carson Wentz or Jared Goff instead.
Schefter thinks that the Browns, sitting at number two, are unlikely to go quarterback with their pick, leaving the door open for a QB-hungry team to jump in.
“I don’t think the Browns are going quarterback. My belief two weeks out is that if I had to guess, the Cleveland Browns will not be going quarterback.”
With that being said, would the Jets move on from Fitzpatrick altogether? ESPN Jets blogger Rich Cimini thinks it’s possible.
“[Fitzpatrick]’d be boxed into a corner, his leverage gone,” Cimini writes. “Judging by the way he’s been holding firm the last several weeks, I have a hard time believing he’d accept an offer to baby sit Carson Wentz or Jared Goff.”
“Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles strike me as patient men, so I don’t think they’d feel pressure to rush the rookie into the starting lineup. That’s why you’d love to have a veteran like Fitzpatrick, someone to help groom the kid and keep the seat warm, if necessary.”
With the sudden retirement of lineman D’brickashaw Ferguson, the Jets also appear to have the cap room to make the numbers work as well.
“Let’s say the Jets make a trade with the San Francisco 49ers, moving up to No. 7 to grab Goff or Wentz. The first-year cap charge in that slot is $3.2 million — hardly outrageous. The total contract would be about $17 million guaranteed. Again, not outrageous. They could dump Geno Smith, saving $1.1 million on the cap, and go with a Fitzpatrick-rookie tandem for $11 million or so on the cap.”
Whoever is under center for Gang Green this fall, however, will be facing a daunting challenge when the season starts. The NFL Schedule was released earlier this week and the Jets start five of their first six games against playoff opponents beginning with the Cincinnati Bengals. Matchups with the Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers follow, along with the first ever Twitter streamed game against Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills popping up in Week 2 of New York’s schedule.
Making matters worse is the fact that four of their first six games are away from home. Would the Jets want to put a rookie QB in that daunting a task? Perhaps the schedule makers did Ryan Fitzpatrick a favor when they put the Jets’ together. Because with rumors that they may trade up in the NFL Draft, the schedule might be the only leverage Ryan Fitzpatrick has left.
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