New York Jets Finished With Ryan Fitzpatrick Contract Talk
The Ryan Fitzpatrick contract holdout has reached an end – in the locker room that is.
As reported by Rich Cimini of ESPN, New York Jets coach Todd Bowles has officially told reporters he’s done talking about Ryan Fitzpatrick.
“With all due respect, I’m through talking about Fitz,” Bowles said at the conclusion of the New York Jets’ mandatory mini-camp.
“I’m going to worry about the guys I have on the team. I think I’ve expressed and said everything about the quarterback that I’m going to say at this standpoint. Until I get to training camp and see what happens, I’m pretty much done talking about it.”
This response came after he was asked about the Jets’ depth chart at quarterback, which at the present moment finds Geno Smith as the New York’s projected starter until Fitzpatrick returns. It was also a far cry from his words earlier in the week, where, according to NJ Dot Com, he openly stated there was no drop-dead deadline in his mind as to when Ryan could return.Since free agency began in March, Bowles has done a nice job deflecting questions about Ryan versus Geno, and whether or not thinks Fitzpatrick’s absence has hurt the team.
“It doesn’t hinder our offensive planning at all; we’re going full-speed ahead, right now,” Bowles said. “If he got hurt, Geno would be the starter, and [Geno would] have to play. He’s learning the system right now, he’s getting better at it.”
There is speculation that the Jets have always eyed Smith as their starter, despite the career numbers Fitzpatrick put up last season, though it’s mostly just a rumor.
Remember, Smith was the number one starter coming into camp last season before IK Enkempali connected with Geno’s jaw in training camp and effectively altered his entire NFL career path. Smith played in only one game the entire year in relief of Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was injured against Oakland in October, and failed to impress the coaches enough to have him start the following week despite the fact Ryan was still partially injured from the Raiders contest.
And, while Fitzpatrick contract talk has dominated the media chatter throughout the New York Jets mini-camp, the feeling at One Jets Drive is that, ultimately, Ryan will be back in the green and white when training camp begins in July.One current Jet who may not be, however, is disgruntled defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, who is expected to hold out during training camp because of contract issues. Earlier this week, he voiced his displeasure over stalled negotiations and the lack of a long-term deal.
As reported by the NY Daily News, Wilkerson doesn’t see an end in sight for the contract spat with the Jets and has yet to sign his franchise tender.
Muhammad recently vented to the NY Post about why he may or may not make it to camp when it begins in late July.
“It’s shocking. It’s frustrating. Because I feel like I’ve earned it and I deserve it. It would be different if I was just a mediocre player. I feel like each and every week I’m dominating and it’s showing. The stats speak for themselves. Basically, what more do I need to do? You know what I mean?”
And while he’s probably not wrong, the issue with the New York Jets at the moment comes down to cap space. And considering they haven’t even locked up their starting quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick because of cost, Wilkerson better not hold his breath on a long-term deal.
[Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]