The Jets and their starting quarterback have been at loggerheads over a new deal but on Wednesday night multiple sources reported that the two parties had agreed a one-year contract worth $12m with an additional $3m possible for Fitzpatrick in bonuses.
Fitzpatrick had the the best season of his career last year, throwing a franchise record 31 touchdowns and almost leading the Jets to the playoffs. The Jets offered him a three-year deal worth up to $24m, including $16m guaranteed, but Fitzpatrick thought he was worth more. The Jets, on the other hand, were unwilling to pay too much for a quarterback who can still be erratic and was helped out by two excellent wide receivers in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.
The tension at the Jets was clear earlier on Wednesday when players were told not to talk to the media about Fitzpatrick. “All questions about Ryan are for coach [Todd] Bowles,” running back Matt Forte said. “They told me to tell you all that. Everybody knows who ‘they’ are.”
ESPN reported that Fitzpatrick was given until 7pm on Wednesday to sign the contract or the team would move on, with Geno Smith, Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty all waiting in the wings to compete for the starter’s job.
Marshall, who enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career in tandem with Fitzpatrick, has been vocal in his support of Fitzpatrick and appeared to express his happiness with the agreement on Wednesday night.
The Jets are Fitzpatrick’s sixth NFL team during an 11 season career. He has a record of 43-61-1 during that time.
This article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Thursday 28th July 2016 03.07 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010