8:57pm: Decker’s absence from OTAs does stem from his dissatisfaction with the lack of progress toward a new deal for Fitzpatrick, reports Costello (Twitter link).
5:36pm: It’s nearly June, which means NFL training camp is creeping closer, but the Jets and free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick continue to make no progress toward a new contract. The two sides haven’t engaged in discussions in several weeks, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (on Twitter).
For his part, Fitzpatrick indicated on Monday that he’d like to return to the Jets, saying, “I had a great time with the guys last year and I want to continue doing this. I’m still preparing for the season.”
The 33-year-old Fitzpatrick, whom the Jets acquired from the Texans for a late-round pick in March 2015, has been pushing for a contract commensurate to his performance last season. The well-traveled Fitzpatrick had a career campaign as part of a 10-6 club, amassing personal bests in yards (3,905) and touchdown passes (31) against 15 interceptions.
The Jets aren’t as bullish on Fitzpatrick as he is on himself, however, as they’ve reportedly tried to lock him up to a deal in the $7MM-per-year range. That’s similar annual value to the contracts Robert Griffin III and Chase Daniel signed earlier this offseason with the Browns and Eagles, respectively, but Fitzpatrick has been significantly more productive than those two in recent years.
With Fitzpatrick currently out of the Jets’ equation, the club has three less-than-ideal signal-calling options in Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Smith has struggled mightily during his three-year NFL career, while Petty and Hackenberg have a combined zero pro snaps between them. New York did invest respectable resources in the tandem, though, with Petty going in the fourth round of the 2015 draft and Hackenberg in the second round this year. Further, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey stated Wednesday that Gang Green would be content with any member of its current troika under center this year. Receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, both of whom were absent from voluntary OTAs on Wednesday, might disagree. Marshall’s absence is unrelated to Fitzpatrick’s situation, however, per Costello (via Twitter).
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