Finally, the nightmare is over.
The Jets have their starting quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick got his money. And the world no longer has to read headlines about one of the silliest contract standoffs ever, which lasted until the start of training camp, between a mediocre quarterback and a quarterback-needy team.
As first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Jets signed Fitzpatrick to a one-year deal worth $12 million guaranteed. According to CBS Sports' NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, Fitzpatrick can earn $3 million more if the Jets win the Super Bowl.
Here are three things to know about the signing.
1. The Jets caved, but got who they wanted.
Give Fitzpatrick credit. He didn't budge. He stayed patient. And he got the deal he wanted.
Deadlines tend to breed results.
Sources: Jets imposed 7 pm deadline or deal was off table. Ryan Fitzpatrick arrived at facility to accept offer at... 7 pm. Just perfect.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) July 27, 2016
In the end, Fitzpatrick's stubbornness paid off. And the Jets were the ones that caved. From a financial standpoint, this is not a good deal for the Jets. Paying a quarterback of Fitzpatrick's caliber $12 million is not a good business decision.
Funnily enough, back at the beginning of June, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported that the Jets weren't interested in giving him the exact deal they just ended up handing him.
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
But from the Jets' perspective, they just landed the quarterback who gives them the best chance to win games this fall. With Fitzpatrick at the helm last year, the Jets went 10-6. He set a franchise record with 31 touchdowns and his teammates certainly appear to love him, especially star receiver Brandon Marshall.
2. Fitzpatrick isn't a savior.
He's a better option than Geno Smith, but let's not act as if he's some sort of savior. He isn't. He's a mediocre quarterback who lucked out by playing with two great receivers in Marshall and Eric Decker.
Yes, he threw 31 touchdowns last year. He also threw a ton of interceptions (15) and was lucky to not lead the league in picks. I wrote about his flaws at length earlier this offseason, so I won't rehash the entire argument, but here's a sample of his overrated season:
Fitzpatrick kept the starting job and, over the course of the year, accumulated an 88.0 passer rating, finishing as the 24th best passer in the league by that metric. He also completed 59.6 percent of his passes (29th in the league), averaged 6.9 yards per attempt (27th in the league), threw 31 touchdowns (tied for 10th in the league) and 15 interceptions (tied for the fifth-most in the league).
Fitzpatrick isn't a savior, but he is at least a stop-gap quarterback that might be good enough to help guide -- not lead -- the Jets to the postseason. The Jets have built a solid roster around Fitzpatrick and, with Tom Brady's four-game suspension, the door is open to steal away the AFC East.
3. Hackenberg 2017?
And that leads us to Christian Hackenberg, the team's second-round pick. Hackenberg isn't ready yet -- he's viewed as a developmental prospect -- but by signing Fitzpatrick to a one-year deal, the door is open for Hackenberg to start the 2017 season atop the depth chart.
Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick's contract might mean the ending to either Geno Smith's or Bryce Petty's career in New York. If the Jets were to keep both of them, they'd enter the season with four quarterbacks on the roster. Petty is cheaper than Smith and is signed through 2018, while Smith will be a free agent after the season. That might not bode well for Smith, who, just a year ago, entered training camp as the starter.
So really, all of this Fitzpatrick madness began with a shocking locker-room punch that placed Smith in the hospital and Fitzpatrick in the starter's role -- a job he finally regained on Wednesday.