Eight million. Twelve million. Twenty million. In the end that’s a lot of money for a quarterback who has a history of inconsistency.

For Ryan Fitzpatrick, this is his last chance to cash in on a great contract that at the conclusion he could retire with. However, for the moment, Fitzpatrick is coming off one of best seasons of his career with the New York Jets. He led an offense that broke records across the board and put the league on notice. Any season garnering those results deserves a pay raise and the Jets are more than willing to accommodate. The problem is, the Jets have a price that Fitzpatrick’s representation doesn’t agree with. It’s been reported the Jets are offering a contract that will pay Fitzpatrick around $8-10 million a year. Representation is looking for something in the $12-16 million range and it’s even been reported as high as $20 million. A final report showed that the Jets have a contract in place for $12 million in the first year, and $4 million for the second and third year.

Jets
(Newsday)

Coming into the off-season, the Jets’ front office led by Mike Maccagnan as GM knew their team would take some hits due to a minor lack of funds to re-sign their valued players. Chris Ivory and Damon Harrison were hard casualties for the team going to the Jacksonville Jaguars and the latter to the New York Giants. The Jets did bring in some help to fill the holes. Matt Forte to replace Ivory and Steve McClendon to replace Harrison. Maccagnan has added other strong level players to keep the Jets as a contending team. There’s hope from the NFL Draft that the Jets can find future stars within their roster.

However, the glaring issue is what Fitzpatrick’s refusal to sign is doing to certain aspects the Jets team is building toward next season. Because Fitzpatrick hasn’t signed a contract, the team drafted QB Christian Hackenberg to become part of the competition in training camp. Another issue with Fitzpatrick’s refusal, is that it’s affecting the ability to give star defensive line player Muhammad Wilkerson a definite place on the Jets roster. The team franchised tagged the player early in the off-season. Furthermore, Wilkerson suffered a major injury at the end of the season that puts his desire of a max contract at risk unless he shows he’s still elite. If the Jets want to make a move to guarantee them a starting quarterback that can help them achieve success, a trade with Wilkerson is their only hope. However, losing Wilkerson means their best defensive player walks out as well.

With training camp looming, the Jets may be forced to go with embattled former starter Geno Smith. A very unpopular move according to fans, and perhaps Jets staff, there isn’t much for the Jets to work with at QB. Bryce Petty will be a sophomore this year who doesn’t turn a lot of heads. Christian Hackenberg is the more popular choice to see where the Jets’ decades long franchise QB ends.

What’s guaranteed is this: the New York Jets don’t have a strong chance at a solid season without Ryan Fitzpatrick under center.

 

Dillon Davis-Tirado covers the NFL and more on My Fantasy Sports Talk. Follow him on Twitter @thedavistirado

 

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