It’s May 12, and Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is still a free agent.
Most free agents already made their decision on what team to play for. They are preparing for offseason workouts in the NFL.
It’s clear now this is a game of chicken between Fitzpatrick and Jets. It’s about who gives in first. The Jets don’t want to pay their quarterback $10 million or more, which is what he wants.
It’s going to be a matter of time until Fitzpatrick signs with the Jets. No NFL team is going to pay what the Jets quarterback wants, and the Jets know that, so they can afford to not up their offer.
Fitzpatrick better realize that. If teams thought he was worth the money, he would have been picked up long time ago.
Not only is he not worth $10 million, but he is not worth $8 million. The Jets are giving him a generous offer.
I get it that Fitzpatrick wants to get one more big payday before he retires. He wants to milk his success this past season by getting quarterback value money. That’s understandable.
But at some point, he is going to have to give up and accept what the Jets offer him.
He’s Ryan Fitzpatrick for Pete’s sake. This isn’t Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or any elite quarterback of that class. He’s an average quarterback that should be paid like an average quarterback.
If he feels strongly he’s worth $10 million, he should sign a one-year deal right now and be a free agent next year. Let him use this year to match last year’s success. That may likely happen when all is said and done.
The Jets have no reason to up their offer. No teams want his service. They know he is not going to be a difference maker. That’s why they have the leverage over him.
The Jets could move on if they want to, but they know their chances of being a playoff team is with Ryan Fitzpatrick than Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenburg.
Petty and Hackenberg are learning the game. It says something about Smith the Jets don’t want him to start. They know he is not the answer. If they felt strongly about him, they would have rescinded their contract offer to Fitzpatrick and moved on.
The Jets know they need Fitzpatrick, but they also know they don’t have to bid against themselves to keep him, either. Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan has done it right by not giving his quarterback the offer he deserves.
Eventually, the Jets may need to sweeten their offer just for the sake of good faith. If they want to give him $10 million, fine, but no more than that. $10 million is as generous as it gets for a caliber of Fitzpatrick.
It’s understandable if Fitzpatrick does not want to concede, but there comes a time when he has to end this.
No Jets fan wants to hear about his contract plight. Not when he is going to be wealthy and set no matter what happens to him for the rest of his life.
If Fitzpatrick truly thinks he is being insulted with the offer, he should not bother playing this year. He should sit at home and wait if any team wants to give him what he wants. The Jets should see if he actually goes through with that.
Fitzpatrick won’t. He knows he needs a job. He has no interest in sitting at home this year.
If he goes through with this, more power to him.
If he wants to play, he needs to end this nonsense and sign a one-year deal so that he can be a free agent next year. If he has a great year this coming season, he will get the money he deserves.
The Bills gave Fitzpatrick a long-term deal, and they regretted it. The Jets are wise not to do the same thing, especially when there is a chance Petty or Hackenburg will be their quarterback in a few years.
It’s smart business.
Fitzpatrick wants to be here. He knows he can win with the Jets. He would be wise to take the deal and make the most of it.
At some point, he and his agent have to realize this is not a battle he can win.
He is only hurting himself, not the Jets.