8:54pm: The issue in negotiations is with the second and third years of the Jets’ offer, reports Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. If the Jets’ offer is worth, say, $24MM in total, then the reported $12MM for 2016 suddenly doesn’t look nearly as appealing, notes Florio.
8:24pm: Rich Cimini of ESPN.com corroborates Cannizzaro’s report, writing that the Jets’ offer to Fitzpatrick does include $12MM for the first year (up from $8MM) and has been on the table for at least two months.
5:40pm: The Jets have made a three-year offer to free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, sources tell Mark Cannizzaro of The New York Post. The proposed deal has been on the table for four months, reports Cannizzaro, who adds that it includes $12MM in the first year (Twitter links).
Fitzpatrick made it clear Monday that he hopes to return to the Jets, also indicating that the two sides were engaging in talks behind the scenes. However, The Post’s Brian Costello reported Wednesday that the Jets and Fitzpatrick hadn’t held contract discussions in several weeks. With Fitzpatrick unsigned and obviously unable to partake in the Jets’ voluntary workouts, standout receiver Eric Decker – one of Fitzpatrick’s favorite targets – made his dissatisfaction with the team known by skipping OTAs.
After helping the Jets to a 10-6 finish and amassing career highs in yards (3,905) and touchdowns (31) last season, the 33-year-old Fitzpatrick has been pushing for a contract in line with that performance. It’s hard to imagine he’d beat the reported offer on the table anywhere else, though, given that all teams’ quarterback situations appear settled. The Eagles’ Sam Bradford, for instance, briefly held out in Philadelphia after the club irked him with the selection of first-round signal-caller Carson Wentz. Bradford quickly returned to the Eagles upon realizing that there simply wasn’t a trade market for him. Similarly, at his asking price, there’s no obvious market for Fitzpatrick outside of New York.
In the event the Jets and Fitzpatrick don’t eventually reach a pact, Gang Green is likely to go forth with either Geno Smith, Bryce Petty or second-round rookie Christian Hackenberg under center. Even though he was successful last season, a career journeyman like Fitzpatrick is hardly an ideal option, but it’s fair to say he’s more appealing at this stage than any of Smith, Petty or Hackenberg.
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