AFC East Notes: Fitzpatrick, Wilkerson, Bills

The Jets are holding firm in their offer of a three-year deal to Ryan Fitzpatrick, but the veteran quarterback would prefer a one-year pact, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). The club would prefer a deal of three years so that it can spread the signing bonus proration over multiple seasons, instead of taking the entire hit in 2016, sources tell Brian Costello of the New York Post. New York is tight on cap space at the moment, and while the team could restructure other contracts in order to fit in a one-year Fitzpatrick salary, it would prefer not to do so.

One solution, per Cole, might be for the Jets to include an opt-out after the 2016 campaign, allowing Fitzpatrick to hit the market again next spring. Another — arguably simpler — solution might be for Gang Green to simply include void years in any deal, which would allow them keep Fitzpatrick’s cap charge low in 2016 before seeing a cap adjustment next season. For now, however, the situation looks to be at a standstill, leading Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk to examine the scenario from the perspective of both player and team.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • The Fitzpatrick affair isn’t the only contract squabble the Jets are currently undertaking, as the club still has an outstanding contract negotiation with franchise player Muhammad Wilkerson. Speaking to reporters today, head coach Todd Bowles reiterated that New York hopes to eventually reach an accord with the standout defensive end. “We want to sign all our good players. But that doesn’t always work out,” Bowles told Kimberley Martin of Newsday. “But with the rules these days they make it very hard after four or five years to keep your own. So we’ve got to try to finagle and find ways to do that and have enough money to try to do so.”
  • Joe Buscalgia of WKBW takes a look at several intriguing roster questions that face the Bills this summer, including who will be lining up to safety Aaron Williams when the season begins. While there was some thought that free agent signee Robert Blanton might push for the starting job, head coach Rex Ryan made it clear that veteran Corey Graham is viewed as the other starting safety opposite Williams. Buscaglia also touches on several areas of note, including how edge rusher IK Enemkpali will fit a 3-4 defense, and how former second-round pick Javier Arenas can make the squad.
  • There have been conflicting reports as to whether Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler plans to push for a new contract prior to the 2016 season, and if so, exactly how much leverage the former undrafted free agent would have in negotiations. examines the situation and discusses if the issue will linger throughout the summer in their latest video.
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One comment on “AFC East Notes: Fitzpatrick, Wilkerson, Bills

  1. bobhutt99

    Please for the love of G-d can the Jets move on from this never ending soap opera with Fitzpatrick. Other than last season he’s nothing more than a career backup QB. He’s a scrub. No other team other than the Jets even wants him. Denver is desperate for a QB knowing Sanchez isn’t the answer but have made no move to even consider him. What does that tell you? Chip Kelly doesn’t want him in SF. No one wants the “Fools Gold” Fitzpatrick but the Jets. Woody lose his number!

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