East Notes: Fitzpatrick, Patriots, Giants

We heard earlier today that the Broncos have, in fact, reached out to free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, but like the Jets, Denver is unwilling to meet Fitzpatrick’s current salary demands. As Brian Costello of The New York Post writes, Denver’s “stinginess” in that regard could push Fitzpatrick back to New York, since other quarterback-needy clubs like the Browns, 49ers, and Rams have expressed no interest in the 33-year-old. Costello does have a point, and as he writes in a separate piece, it is probably time for both sides to come out of their respective trenches and compromise, with a contract worth about $10MM per year and some incentives based on statistics or playoff appearances looking like a fair middle ground.

Now let’s take a look at some more links fro the league’s east divisions:

  • Count Jets wideout Brandon Marshall as one big-name member of Gang Green that wants Fitzpatrick to return to the team. As Seth Walder of The New York Daily News writes, Marshall fears losing Fitz to free agency, saying, “The way we communicate, the way we practice together, the way we bring other guys together, I’ve never seen that anywhere else. And I’ve been a lot of places. And I’ve had a lot of quarterbacks. So that’s the toughest thing for me when I think about him potentially putting on another jersey.”
  • The Patriots, as usual, have been relatively quiet during the first wave of free agency, and as Ben Volin of The Boston Globe observes, that approach makes sense, as New England already has its top players under contract and is saving to re-sign some of its key contributors whose contracts expire at the end of the 2016 season (like Malcolm Butler, Jamie Collins, and Rob Ninkovich). Volin suggests, however, that the team may want to take care of Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman now to head off any possible discontent (Gronkowski has recently expressed frustration with his contract on Twitter, and while Edelman has not publicly voiced any concern with his current deal, the fact that Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola are set to make more money than him in 2016 could change things in a hurry).
  • Unlike New England, the Giants made a huge splash in the early stages of free agency, and Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News commends the club for its extravagances. Jordan Raanan of NJ.com, though, notes that Big Blue is not done spending, and he puts together a list of second-tier players the Giants could target, a list that includes players like Andre Holmes, Rashad Johnson, and Andre Branch.
  • Raanan passes along a note on Keenan Robinson‘s new deal with the Giants, pointing out that the contract is actually a one-year, $2.6MM pact. It had previously been reported that Robinson had inked a one-year, $3.5MM deal, but Raanan says that $900K of that figure is comprised of not likely to be earned incentives. Raanan’s piece provides details on all of the Giants’ free agent contracts thus far.
  • Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald welcomes the Dolphins‘ new, more measured approach to free agency this offseason, a stark contrast to the team’s recent free-spending ways. Although one can take issue with some of Miami’s decisions–the Mario Williams signing, for instance–the change in strategy is still refreshing.


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