The nightmare is over. About two weeks after the Jets shockingly re-signed star defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, they made another huge move by re-signing starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. After months and months of drama, the Jets finally said here’s our last offer: take it or leave it. Fitzpatrick took it and everyone is once again happy.
The deal is a one year agreement worth $12 million that can jump to $15 million with incentives. That’s more than fair for a veteran journeyman QB who had a career season. He had a career-high 3,905 yards and 31 touchdowns – which also set a franchise record. The Jets didn’t want to commit a ton of money or years but Fitzpatrick felt that he deserved both. It’s understandable why he thought that after the huge money Sam Bradford and Brock Osweiler got. Thus, the long standoff ensued.
It was such a weird situation because neither side really had leverage. The Jets needed Fitzpatrick back or else they would’ve had to start Geno Smith, Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty and there’s no way they wanted to do that. Fitzpatrick needed to return to the Jets because he had no other serious suitors, nowhere he would start and he fit so well with the system Chan Gailey runs. The Jets needed Fitz, Fitz needed the Jets, yet nobody wanted to cave. We’ll never know if Nick Foles getting released by the Rams led to the Jets putting a firm deadline on their contract offer, but if it did… thank you Los Angeles.
Now the Jets go into the new season with their starting QB back, star DL happy to finally be free of his contract dispute and a team that’s hungry to overcome last season’s disappointment of missing the playoffs in the last five minutes of Week 17. This year’s team is as good, if not better than last year’s. The big difference is that their schedule got a whole lot tougher. It’ll be a challenge but Todd Bowles will have the team ready to take the next step.
Welcome back Fitzy. Welcome back.