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Jets, Fitzpatrick still “not close”

Ryan Fitzpatrick


As the Jets get closer to the start of their offseason program, they’re no closer to having their starting quarterback back under contract.

Chris Carlin of SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio reports, citing a source familiar with the negotiations, that the Jets and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick are still “not close” on a new deal.

It’s unclear how much the Jets have offered. At one point, the prevailing sense was that the Jets had maxed out in the range of $7 million. More recently, Rich Cimini of reported that the pending offer is “better than” the perceived range of $7 million to $8 million. It’s also unclear what Fitzpatrick specifically wants; some have suggested he’s at or above $15 million per year in his expectations.

Regardless, a major gap still exists. And while the Jets have other options (last month, coach Todd Bowles said that the team has plans B, C, and D in place), Fitzpatrick apparently continues to be the team’s plan A.

The real question is whether Fitzpatrick has other options. For now, he apparently doesn’t, at least not at the kind of number he’d accept. At some point, the question becomes whether Fitzpatrick will do what left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson did. Indeed, if the Jets won’t increase their offer and if no one else will offer Fitzpatrick more and if he’s not willing to play for what the Jets are offering, retirement for the 33-year-old quarterback becomes a viable potential outcome.

Or maybe Fitzpatrick will just sit and wait for the Jets or someone else to realize that a team has needs at the position, that Fitzpatrick has the skills to fill those needs, and that the team is willing to pay him what we wants. Unless and until Fitzpatrick agrees to play for a lot less than he currently wants, not playing until he gets what he wants could be the only real option.

And if he never gets what he wants, not playing again becomes a real option, too.