The New York Jets and free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick are still sitting at a contract standstill as the negations have now dragged into July. Neither side seems to budge, but with training camp approaching a resolution is absolutely needed soon.
Fitzpatrick has turned into a distraction in the Jets locker room this offseason. Wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are constantly pestered with questions about Fitzpatrick’s negotiations and the players are becoming tired of this and want the situation to be resolved for good.
The Jets need a deadline for the negotiations with Fitzpatrick and the deadline should be the start of training camp. Focus needs to be on the players on the team and not players the team is continually negotiating with.
It would be a major issue if likely starter Geno Smith has to practice than handle questions from the media about Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick needs to take the current offer the Jets have on the table as he has lost all his leverage of offers from other teams due to no interest from other teams.
Former Jets head coach and current ESPN NFL analyst Herm Edwards believes both sides will eventually come to an agreement sooner rather than later. “It’s just a matter of getting the numbers right,” said Edwards, who coached the Jets from 2001-2005. “Does he have some leverage? Yeah, he has some leverage in the sense that they need him at quarterback. There’s no doubt about that. But he needs them as well.”
Outside of Muhammad Wilkerson, the story of the Jets offseason has been the Fitzpatrick negotiations. The Jets will be prepared to head into the season with Smith as the team’s starter, but a decision from Fitzpatrick would end this discussion for good and both sides will be able to move forward.