I have been speculating this offseason that Ryan Fitzpatrick may not return to the New York Jets, and that Geno Smith could still be the starter in 2016 (by default). Now that free agency is about to start, it looks like that there is no deal in place for Ryan Fitzpatrick and that NY Jets may not have enough money to sign the journeyman quarter back.
According to Ian Rapoport, insider for the NFL Network and NFL.com, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the New York Jets are far apart on a deal. After Sam Bradford signed his 2 year / 38 million dollar deal to stay with the Eagles, it was clear that the estimates of Fitzpatrick re-signing with the Jets for around 7 million were way to low, it’s going to take probably around 12-14 million to sign him before he hits the open market. I am not saying he will get a contract for that much, but at his age, it would be wise for him to see if he can get one last big payday from any team willing to pay him.
This is a surprise: #Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is expected to hit the free agent market, sources say. Sides are far apart on a potential deal
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 7, 2016
Adam Schefter of ESPN backs up Rapoport’s report (say that ten times fast), saying earlier today: “It is no sure Thing, that Ryan Fitzpatrick returns to the Jets, it’s the same Scenario as Broncos QB Brock Osweiler, a deal is on the table, but if everything was a straight guarantee, they both would have signed already, they are going to negotiate with other teams, but the teams looking to bringing them back, better look for a Plan B just in case”.
With Bryce Petty most likely not being ready, and Geno Smith having an entire training camp leading offensive coordinator Chan Gailey’s offense. It is possible if the New York Jets do not re-sign Fitzpatrick, they decided instead to bring in a low cost veteran to compete with Geno Smith for the starting job in 2016. To the dismay of many New York Jets fans, I would not rule out the possibility of him starting next season, as all reports from training camp said that Smith looked terrific in the Jets’ offense during training camp. The Jets are still a team built on defense, and Geno Smith has never had a weapon like Brandon Marshall to catch balls while covered, and to make room for Eric Decker.
No matter what happens, it’s sure to be an exciting offseason for the New York Jets. They only have 7 million in cap space currently, but can free up room by cutting Jeremy Kerley and Jeff Cumberland, and restructuring the deal of D’Brickashaw Ferguson. One thing is for sure, many NY Jet fans get a lump in their throats at the prospect of Geno Smith starting in 2016.