The New York Jets and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick have been at loggerheads for five long months, but no longer.
Late last night the two sides came to terms on a one-year, $12 million deal which could rise to $15 million with incentives. The Jets upped their offer from $9 million to $12 and told Fitzpatrick that if he didn’t agree to it then they would be moving on without him.
The two had been unable to agree terms on a multi-year deal, with the Jets offering Fitzpatrick $24 million over three years but the market for quarterbacks has been strong, and while the 31 other teams have their guy for now one injury in training camp would have inflated Fitzpatrick’s price even more, so it was vital for the Jets to get the veteran signed up this week.
In order to fit Fitzpatrick’s new contract under the cap the Jets are going to have to get creative, they only had $9.1 million in space prior to this deal so both the front office and coaching staff will have to get creative with how they save some money and don’t lose production on the field.
The Jets had been desperate for Fitzpatrick, who set a franchise record with 31 touchdowns last year, to re-sign. Their other options were the failure that is Geno Smith and a very untested rookie in Christian Hackenberg. While Fitzpatrick has missed out on OTA’s and other off-season work he should slide straight in as the starter when training camp opens up and his return gives the Jets offense a feeling of potency again.
Of course, with just a one year deal under his arm it is possible that the Jets and Fitzpatrick will find themselves back in this position again next year, although Christian Hackenberg – once considered a #1 overall prospect – could be the long term answer to the Jets long-standing quarterback question.