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Fitzpatrick plans to compete with Geno Smith, eventually

The offseason program has moved to Phase Two in New York. But the quarterback competition remains at Square One.

The Jets traded for veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, as the potential alternative to incumbent starter Geno Smith. Unless the Jets emerge from Thursday night’s first round of the draft with Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota, it’ll be Fitzpatrick versus Geno Smith. Eventually.

“Right now I can’t do a whole lot,” Fitzpatrick told reporters on Tuesday, referring to the broken leg he suffered in December. “I am kind of limited in what I am doing. So, I will slowly start working in and doing different things. So that is a little setback for me right now but my rehab is doing great. I am doing really well, so that is kind of yet to be determined just because for my health and how things are going.”

The delay isn’t a surprise. And it gives Smith a chance to show what he can do. Which is good news. Assuming he does a better of job showing what he can do than he has done in his first two NFL seasons.

The bad news for Fitzpatrick is that it sounds like the previous projection that he’ll be ready to go by training camp could be in jeopardy.

“If you ask me, yes,” he said regarding whether he’ll be cleared by the start of camp. “If you ask one of the trainers, maybe it’s going to be a little while, but I will be good. I am on pace right now to definitely be healthy for training camp. It’s just a progression right now, I am not trying to do too much too early.”

The Jets collectively are presumably hoping to do as much as they can, as early as they can. With Fitzpatrick not ready to jump in, maybe it makes them more likely to emerge with a quarterback.