Despite Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s roundabout way into the Jets’ starting lineup this season, Todd Bowles wants the team to re-sign the veteran quarterback, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
The first-year Jets coach “definitely” wants the team to bring the 33-year-old Fitzpatrick back for another season, Mehta reports. Fitzpatrick’s in the second season of a two-year, $7.25MM deal he signed with the Texans in 2014.
The Jets acquired him for a seventh-round pick this offseason, but that meager cost became a vital exchange once Geno Smith sustained a career-altering broken jaw before the season.
“You can see it in his play,” Bowles told Mehta. “You can see it in his demeanor, his professionalism. Every day, the way he approaches his job. So, it’s somebody you definitely want around. … We got to work (a potential contract out) after the season.”
Fitzpatrick’s camp hasn’t started extension talks with the Jets yet, Mehta reports.
Playing through injuries and elevating the Jets into playoff contention in December for the first time since 2011, Fitzpatrick’s strung together arguably his best season and is on the verge of establishing new career highs.
The one-time seventh-round pick’s thrown for 22 touchdown passes (his career-best mark is 24, set during both the 2011 and 2012 seasons in Buffalo) and 2,866 yards, the latter total resting just less than 1,000 shy of his 2011 personal best. Vinny Testaverde’s 29 touchdown tosses in 1998 remain the Jets’ single-season record.
Smith, who’s attempted just 42 passes after IK Ememkpali‘s locker-room punch removed him from the starting job he’d held since 2013, remains under contract through the 2016 season.