“There has been really no movement from either side, everybody is dug in,” Rapoport said. “So it certainly could be within the realm of possibility that we have to see not just a little bit of Geno Smith, like maybe a couple reps in OTAs or mini camp, but a lot of Geno Smith, maybe even into preseason games, for there to be some sort of movement here between the Jets and Fitzpatrick, so expect to be having this conversation a few more times.”
Rich Cimini of ESPN writes that while many expect the Jets and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to eventually reach an agreement on a new contract, “smart people in the know” have indicated that it’s “not a fait accompli.”
Cimini believes the Jets should ultimately sweeten the second year of their three-year, $24 million offer that includes $12 million in year one, as it would give Fitzpatrick some protection in 2017.
- Mike Florio mentioned earlier in the day that the Jets have sent a clear message to agents around the league regarding how they’ll handle negotiations going forward after they waited until the week of the franchise deadline to get a long-term deal hammered out with DL Muhammad Wilkerson.
- With this in mind, Florio points out that the night before training camp could be the deadline to watch for Fitzpatrick.
Brian Costello of the New York Post reported last week that there still hasn’t been any progress between the two sides and there’s still a “sizable gap” to be bridged.
According to Costello, there’s a thought that Fitzpatrick could be waiting for another team to sustain an injury at quarterback, which could result in him gaining some leverage in contract talks with the Jets.
However, Costello admits that this could be a long shot, considering that a team is still unlikely to pay him the kind of money he’s seeking from the Jets.
One interesting aspect brought up by Costello is that the Jets may have to consider pulling their offer from Fitzpatrick at some point if they aren’t willing to improve it and Fitzpatrick remains steadfast in his demands.
“At some point, it becomes unfair to Smith, who has worked all offseason as the starter, to hand Fitzpatrick the starting job when he decides to sign,” writes Costello.
Fitzpatrick, 32, played out the final year of his two-year, $7.5 million contract that included $4 million guaranteed and is currently the best quarterback still available in this year’s market.
In 2015, Fitzpatrick threw for 3,905 yards while completing 59.6 percent of his passes to go along with 31 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Pro Football Focus has Fitzpatrick rated as the No. 27 quarterback out of 37 qualifying players.
We have him featured in our Best Available Free Agents list.