Yesterday the New York Jets re-signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to a one year, twelve million dollar guaranteed contract. Barring injury, Fitzpatrick is under center on opening day, trying to lead a team to the play-offs for the first time in his career. Many people feel the Jets did not stand a chance at having a successful 2016 season without him under center, and are very excited about this move. I am not however; in my opinion, the NY Jets won ten games despite Ryan Fitzpatrick’s play, not because of it. This is a Chicken s… move by a franchise to afraid to take a chance and ire the fan base.
Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 2016 season was not the season people make it out to be. When you start talking about the numbers, it all looks good for Fitzpatrick. A 2-1 Touchdown to TD ratio and ten wins. Most TD’s by a New York Jets quarterback ever, second most passing yards in team history. But here is the problem: by all accounts, Fitzpatrick had the season of his career, yet a lot of his statistics were actually middle of the road or bottom of the league: TD Passes (10th), Yards (15th), Comp % (29th), Yards Per attempt (26th), Int % (27th), QB Raiting (24th). He did not have the great season some people claim he did, in my mind.
Fitzpatrick also had many weapons at his disposal. The 2015 New York Jets were not a team who could only play defense. The guy who he just replaced again, Geno Smith, has never had the talent around him Fitzpatrick did last year. What Geno does have, is a big arm, athleticism, and the ability to put up points in the right system. He could be a beast if given the chance with Marshall and Decker. Marshall is a true difference maker, someone always open even when he is not. Something that Smith has never had. Something that could help Smith excel in a starting role.
If you look at the 2015 schedule and outcomes, you will see the Jets defense lead the way. The Jets were 1-5 in games their opponents scored more than 20 points. Unless the defense controlled the game, the 2015 New York Jets were dead in the water. The 2015 Jets also benefited from an extremely weak schedule, and are facing an extremely tough schedule this year. The quarterback play is not good enough for the team to get where it wants to be, and Geno Smith is not the step down people think he is. If you actually allow him to play with the tools the Jets, you may find he is actually an upgrade to Ryan Fitzpatrick. His statistics were all trending up in his second season, and all indications last year say he looked terrific in camp. If it wasn’t for punch-gate, who knows if Fitzpatrick wouldn’t have been a forgotten man, instead of a man arguing over getting one last payday when he should have been preparing for what could be his last season as an NFL starter.
You will never be great with a mediocre quarterback, and you will never find out what you have without giving guys a chance. Instead, the Jets are giving you Fitzpatrick. It is going to be sad when you see Smith lighting it up for another team, and all Jet fans are left with what could have been.
Mike Maccagnan knows if the Jets fail with Fitzpatrick as the quarterback, Fitzpatrick gets all the blame. He also knows if Geno Smith is the quarterback and fails, the he will share the blame with Geno. The re-signing of Fitzpatrick reeks of self-preservation.
It is my opinion, that the NY Jets re-signed Fitzpatrick out of fear, not necessity. Smith should be starting in 2016, and Fitzpatrick should be on the unemployment line for the money he wanted.