It’s time to give up the act and end the stalemate. The New York Jets need to suck up their pride and find a way to give Ryan Fitzpatrick a better offer than the one that they have laid out before him right now.
Now it doesn’t need to be much more than what they have already offered, which is reportedly around $8 million a year for the next three years. Bumping up the offer to more of a middle ground number is something New York has to do.
There are a number of reason why. First and foremost, this guy just had one of the greatest seasons in franchise history. Fitzmagic broke the single season record for passing touchdowns and came close to the yardage record as well ranking second all in team history.
Fitz has his drawbacks for sure, in the number of interceptions he’s thrown, his rep as a journey man and his inability to come up big when the team needed him to in Week 17 against Buffalo last year, but the Jets have to look past all of that.
For the first time in a long time, Gang Green has a positive locker room vibe going. There is a lot of chemistry among this group of guys. That includes Fitzpatrick even though he isn’t officially under contract. Just Tuesday night, a video surfaced on Instagram of the bearded signal caller hanging out with Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Nick Mangold and Bryce Petty at Madison Square Garden for the Rangers and Penguins playoff game. That kind of comradery is not something that gets formed overnight.
In Fitz, the Jets would get a guy who clearly likes the talent he has around him and has a great relationship with his potential replacement in Petty. He has shown signs of wanting to mentor the former Baylor quarterback.
Many seem to have forgotten the uncertainty of the NFL draft, as fans and analysts peg the Jets to take any one of a number of quarterbacks in the first two rounds. However, drafting a rookie is a huge unknown and New York doesn’t exactly have the best track record for drafting quarterbacks. There is no guarantee that Fitzpatrick will replicate his production from last season, but he is much more of a sure thing than any rookie the Jets could draft.
And then if they want to entertain the laughable notion of signing another quarterback via free agency, New York kind of has slim pickings. Brian Hoyer reportedly visited yesterday, but he is just as much of a journeyman and his playoff performance against Kansas City was less than reassuring. There is always Johnny Manziel, or of course Matt Flynn. How about Tim Tebow? Point is, there isn’t a great plan B.
In a league where guys as average as Joe Flacco get paid $22 million a year, I don’t see why the Jets are so concerned with paying a guy who put up comparable stats about half of that. Upping the offer to around $11 million shouldn’t break the bank.
If Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles about making the playoffs and competing at a high level this season, they need to have the quarterback position solved. Geno Smith is not the answer and Petty is nowhere near ready right now. Especially with a difficult schedule, bringing back Fitzpatrick is the only way the Jets can hope to stay afloat this season.