Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick remains unsigned, and with the veteran free agent and the Jets still engaged in a stand-off, Fitzpatrick has told people he would “rather not play football” than accept the Jets’ current offer, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Although Schefter’s report makes it sound as though Fitzpatrick would consider sitting out the 2016 season if he doesn’t get a satisfactory contract offer, Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link) spoke to a source who says that’s not the case. According to Costello’s source, Fitzpatrick definitely wants to play.
Per the ESPN.com report, the Jets’ offer to Fitzpatrick remains in the $7-8MM-per-year range, while the veteran signal-caller is believed to be seeking upwards of twice that amount. At least one report has suggested that the Jets’ offer to Fitzpatrick is similar to the deal the Eagles gave Chase Daniel, which was worth $21MM over three years, but included another $15MM in incentives. However, it sounds as if Fitzpatrick wants New York to increase the base value of its offer, rather than counting on incentives that may not be met.
An 11-year veteran, Fitzpatrick is coming off the best season of his NFL career. The former seventh-round pick established new career highs by throwing for 3,905 yards and 31 touchdowns, and led the Jets to a 10-6 record, just narrowly missing a playoff berth.
With the Jets and Fitzpatrick apparently not making any progress, the club continues to mull its fallback options as the draft approaches. Although Fitzpatrick is the priority, the Jets recently brought in Brian Hoyer for a visit, and could use the draft to address the quarterback position. We should have a better idea in another 48 to 72 hours about where the team’s quarterback situation stands.