The stalemate between the New York Jets and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick hit ridiculous speed a long time ago, as neither side can come to terms on any kind of deal. Heck, they can't even meet halfway right now.
Reports surfaced on Thursday that Fitzpatrick would rather sit out the entire 2016 season than play for the Jets and their offer. The Jets reportedly offered a deal in the $7 million to $8 million range. Fitzpatrick wants a deal around $16 million a year. Even the Denver Broncos steered clear of Fitzpatrick when his asking price was too much for them.
The Jets want to get a deal done with Fitzpatrick, if for no other reason than the fact the quarterback had great locker room chemistry with his teammates and played well last year. Fitzpatrick has seen the likes of Brock Osweiler, Sam Bradford and Chase Daniels cash in on mega deals, and none of those guys threw 31 touchdown passes last year. Fitzpatrick did.
If Fitzpatrick is fixated on sitting out an entire season because he won't get the contract that he deems is fair, the Jets really need to move on. While bringing Fitzpatrick back makes all the sense in the world, (nobody wants to see Geno Smith start this year), the Jets have to understand that they can't force Fitzpatrick to sign a deal he doesn't want.
Granted, the Jets are offering a very fair contract for a player who never once in his career dominated the position. Fitzpatrick had a career year last year and the Jets rewarded him with an offer for $8 million a year. That is not too shabby. Fitzpatrick has to realize that if he is going to play any down of football this year, he needs to lower the terms of his contract demands. Not only are the Jets staying away but so are other teams. If Fitzpatrick plays this out and does sit out (as unlikely as it is) he can pretty much kiss his career good-bye. Nobody will want to even pay the veterans minimum to a 34-year old quarterback who took a year off, because he was making a public statement about his salary.
Fitzpatrick needs to realize that the Jets are the only destination out there for him. It's the only outlet that guarantees him a starting job this year. The Broncos are going to start Paxton Lynch after trading up to draft him. The 49ers are stuck with Colin Kaepernick. The Browns just signed RGIII, and the Rams and Eagles drafted quarterbacks in round one. There are no more starting spots available, except the Jets.
Time for Fitzpatrick to put aside this ridiculous charade and sign a contract.