While quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick remains unsigned and therefore was not among those to report to the start of Jets training camp Wednesday, he might not be away from the team for much longer. Negotiations are currently taking place between the Jets and Fitzpatrick, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, and he tweets that the talks between the sides “are heating up.” Rapoport reported earlier Wednesday that the Jets would make a major run at signing Fitzpatrick before camp practices begin Thursday.
Fitzpatrick and the Jets have been at odds since March over the club’s three-year, $24MM offer that features $15MM in guarantees, though Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported Monday that the club has presented at least one other option to the 33-year-old. Fitzpatrick – whom the Jets acquired from the Texans for a mere late-round pick last offseason – is looking to cash in on the heels of a career campaign, but neither the Jets nor the rest of the NFL have played ball so far. And given that league’s 31 other teams seems to have their starting quarterback situations figured out, it appears Fitzpatrick and the Jets need each other. The Harvard product helped the Jets to a surprising 10-6 finish and a narrow playoff miss in 2015. Along the way, the career journeyman totaled personal highs in touchdowns (31) and yards (3,905).
Fitzpatrick is easily more accomplished than de facto starter Geno Smith and the Jets’ other quarterbacks, second-round rookie Christian Hackenberg and second-year man Bryce Petty, and would likely give the club its best chance to snap a five-year playoff drought. Judging by their sudden urgency to negotiate as camp is set to begin in earnest, the Jets agree.
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