May 1, 2016
If Ryan Fitzpatrick Retires, Jets All In On Geno Smith

Geno Smith has only one chance left to be the New York Jets starting quarterback. And it all comes down to whether free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick decides to retire rather than take the offer on the table from the team.

As reported by CBS Sports via Twitter, the options are dwindling at quarterback for the New York Jets, with Brian Hoyer reportedly signing with the Chicago Bears.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer
[Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images]Hoyer's name was repeatedly linked to the Jets as an alternative to Ryan Fitzpatrick should the free agent quarterback sign elsewhere or retire. With his name out of the hat, there's no one left in the free agent pool worth selecting. There had been a draft day rumor that the Jets were interested in trading for the Rams quarterback Nick Foles, but those rumors were quickly diffused as per Jets GM Mike Maccagnan.In fact, according to ESPN, their focus remains solely on Fitzpatrick.

"I would say simply, to dispel anything, we're not at this point in time in any discussions with any team for any other quarterbacks," general manager Mike Maccagnan said Saturday during the draft. "I can put that to bed at this point in time."

Christian Hackenberg New York Jets
[Photo by Evan Habeeb/Getty Images]Meanwhile, Bowles talked up the guys he does have on the roster, including Smith, Bryce Petty, and the newly-drafted Christian Hackenberg.
"We've got three guys here we're working with. We're not just waiting for [Fitzpatrick] to come back. We have guys ready to play. We can only control the guys that are in the building right now. If he comes back, he comes back. When he comes back, we'll be happy to have him back. But, meanwhile, we've got to get the other guys ready to play."
Out of those three quarterbacks, the only one with NFL experience is Smith. Petty, a fourth round selection last season, is still a work-in-progress, though many in the organization believe he'll be a serviceable NFL backup. Meanwhile, Hackenberg would need to sit at least one year before being thrown into the fire as an NFL starting quarterback.

Which leaves Geno Smith as the only option other than Ryan Fitzpatrick with the experience and understanding of Chan Gailey's system that can jump in. Not too long ago, it was Smith at the top of the depth chart anyway, and not Ryan Fitzpatrick. But with a single swing by former linebacker IK Enemkpali, Geno's entire football future broke, along with his jaw. His injury gave Fitzpatrick the opportunity to helm the QB spot, where he went on to have a career year throwing 31 TDs, almost 4,000 yards, and breaking several team records in the process.

It seemed like a no-brainer then for the Jets and Fitzpatrick to come together for a new deal. But then the Texans signed free agent Brock Osweiler to a ridiculous contract, and the Eagles ponied up big bucks for the now-disgruntled signal caller and changed the QB market. And while there are rumors that Ryan would rather retire than play for the paltry amount the Jets have on the table, according to the New York Daily News, it simply isn't the case.

But for Geno Smith to have any shot at playing quarterback again in the league, he'll need Ryan Fitzpatrick out of the picture to do so.

[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]