Hours after it looked like the Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick may have resolved their contract impasse, the two sides remain apart on the financial terms that would bring the quarterback back to New York.
Details via the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta:
Jets are not interested in giving Ryan Fitzpatrick a 1-year, $12 million deal, per sources. Will not be happening.— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) June 2, 2016
Mehta's report comes a day after the Daily News' Gary Myers wrote, "The Daily News has learned Fitzpatrick is prepared to end his contract stalemate by letting the Jets know he will take a one-year deal for $12 million guaranteed. It's the same money with the same guarantee the Jets are offering in the first year of their frontloaded three-year, $24 million proposal that has backup money in the second and third year."
Meanwhile, Mehta reported earlier this week that the Jets were worried that Fitzpatrick, who had a career year in 2015, might take less money to play elsewhere -- which is why it would make sense for the team to up their offer. Except, as Mehta tweeted, the Jets aren't interested in forking over that kind of money, even if Fitzpatrick is amenable to the terms.
As often happens, the issue is perceived worth vs. actual worth, and predicting future productivity based on past success. Fitzpatrick, who completed 67 percent of his passes last seasons with 31 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, ranked 13th among all quarterbacks, according to Football Outsiders' metrics. That's ahead of Alex Smith and just above replacement level. Worth noting: Smith's cap hit for 2016 is $17.8 million.
If the Jets and Fitzpatrick can't come to terms, it looks like former second-rounder Geno Smith will be Plan B. And safety Calvin Pryor says -- publicly, anyway -- he's perfectly comfortable moving forward with Smith.
"I do [believe in Smith]," Pryor told NJ.com last week. "He has to believe that as well. I think he's very confident. Before the [Enemkpali] incident happened last year, I think he was having a great camp. I think he was buying guys in. In this locker room, guys were believing in him. I'm pretty sure everything happens for a reason. "He learned from that moment. And I think he's better. Guys are confident that he can get the job done. He just has to be confident in himself, and I think he is. So far, I'm happy with the results."
The good news is that the Jets' defense should again be one of the best in the league. And the offense has playmakers in Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Matt Forte, Jace Amaro. And perhaps most importantly, Fitzpatrick was a replacement-level player before last season; if Smith can be that -- and there's reason to think offensive coordinator Chan Gailey can make it happen -- then maybe the Jets can again battle for a wild-card spot.