Ryan Fitzpatrick is without question one of the most intriguing names to follow as NFL training camps get underway. The New York Jets went through an entire offseason of haggling with him over a new deal. It wasn’t easy to get a deal done, but the two parties got something done at the end of the day.
According to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Jets and Fitzpatrick agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal to end his holdout.
Finally: Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jets reach agreement on 1-year, $12 million, fully-guaranteed contract, sources tell ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 27, 2016
Looking ahead to the 2016 NFL season, the Jets appear to have serious playoff potential. They haven’t been viewed as a Super Bowl contender for quite some time, but they have built their team the right way and have a shot to contend in the AFC. Teams like the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, and Indianapolis Colts all have flaws, which leaves the door open for middle-of-the-pack teams like New York.
While the Jets still have a lot of questions surrounding them, Fitzpatrick will find a way to lead them to the playoffs and earn a much bigger contract moving forward.
Last season with the Jets, Fitzpatrick ended up completing 59.6 percent of his passes for 3,905 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. His completion percentage could use some work, but he had the best season of his career. New York needed to bring him back, especially with how close the other offensive players were to him.
Perhaps the most entertaining part of the entire situation is the hair that Fitzpatrick brought with him in his first days back with the Jets.
Travis Pulver of Sports Information Traders wrote an article about Fitzpatrick’s hair and how it has become a legitimate storyline.
New York took a big step forward in Todd Bowles’ first year as the Jets’ head coach. They finished the season with a 10-6 record, which was good enough for second in the AFC East division. It was a move in the right direction, and there is no question that the franchise will continue that trend this season.
It will be interesting to see what kind of numbers the Jets’ quarterback puts up this season. Not only is he playing for his team, he is playing for a bigger contract after his one-year deal is up. If he proves that he is a legitimate franchise quarterback, the Jets may have no choice but to pay him what he is looking for over the next couple of seasons.
Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker both made it clear how much they liked and respected Fitzpatrick by making it even clearer that they wanted him back as their starting quarterback. It is obvious that the offense has a chemistry that Bowles and the Jets couldn’t afford to break up.
Fitzpatrick never wanted to leave the Jets. He knew that New York offered him the chance to start and was by far the best choice for his career. It was only a matter of time before he re-signed with the Jets, and it was obvious throughout the offseason that this would end up happening.
Expect to see the Jets take the big leap into the NFL playoffs this season. It won’t be easy, but they have put together a solid all-around offense to go along with a defense that is capable of making big plays. Fitzpatrick may not be a top quarterback in the league, but he will find a way to get the job done.
Do you think Ryan Fitzpatrick will lead the New York Jets into the playoffs this season? Will he earn a big pay raise by putting up big numbers? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Photo by Brad Penner/AP Images]