Jets GM on working toward deal with Ryan Fitzpatrick

By on February 27, 2016


Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 10:30 PM

Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jets want the quarterback with Gang Green.Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jets want the quarterback with Gang Green.

INDIANAPOLIS — Mike Maccagnan didn’t give a play-by-play of the state of negotiations with impending free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick, but it would be a stunner if the two sides didn’t agree to a deal in the coming weeks. Fitzpatrick, the engine of the most prolific offense in franchise history, has made it clear that he would like to build upon his best season. The Jets have also left little doubt that they would like the 33-year-old quarterback to be the 2016 starter.

This makes too much sense for it not to happen.

“We like Ryan,” Maccagnan said at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday. “I think we have a good situation for Ryan. We just have to come to an agreement on a cost — in a perfect world — (that) both sides think is fair. That’s still to be determined in the near future in free agency.”

Jets brass will be talking with Fitzpatrick’s agent this week to take important steps toward hammering out a deal. Fitzpatrick, who threw for a career-high 3,905 yards and franchise-record 31 touchdowns during the Jets’ 10-win season, had a career resurgence in Chan Gailey’s offense.

Maccagnan didn’t put a deadline on getting a deal done, but it would be an upset if Fitzpatrick didn’t agree to terms on a new multi-year deal prior to the official start of free agency on March 9.


“In a perfect world with any of your players, you want to get something done prior to free agency,” Maccagnan said. “You also realize it’s a process….

It might happen prior to free agency. It may happen a day into free agency.… I don’t necessarily feel any pressure, per se. We’d like to get something done obviously. We’ve been very public about that. To me, if it eventually gets done and both sides feel good about it, then I’m fine with that.”

Fitzpatrick bounced around with five teams in 10 years before 2015. His value is greatest with the Jets, who need a bridge QB as they evaluate a long-term plan with either Bryce Petty or a soon-to-be drafted signal caller.

“When you’re dealing with free agency, it’s always a fluid thing,” Maccagnan said. “The one thing you have to do is have a plan in place and have contingency plans.”

It’s unlikely the Jets will need to use their contingency plan at quarterback.

A Fitzpatrick return appears to be a matter of when, not if.

BACKUP PLAN: So where does Geno Smith stand with the Jets? “Right now,” Todd Bowles said, “Geno is our backup quarterback.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement.  

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