Jets’ Marshall fears losing Ryan Fitzpatrick to free agency

By on March 13, 2016

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Saturday, March 12, 2016, 5:53 PM

Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall points out who he wants throwing him the ball in 2016.Bill Kostroun/AP

Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall points out who he wants throwing him the ball in 2016.

Brandon Marshall doesn’t like the thought of Ryan Fitzpatrick being someone else’s quarterback. But with Fitzpatrick hanging in limbo as a free agent, Marshall knows it’s a possibility.

“The way we communicate, the way we practice together, the way we bring other guys together, I’ve never seen that anywhere else,” Marshall said on the Rich Eisen Show Friday. “And I’ve been a lot of places. And I’ve had a lot of quarterbacks. So that’s the toughest thing for me when I think about him potentially putting on another jersey.”

The receiver recounted how he, Fitzpatrick and Eric Decker had a meeting – prompted by offensive coordinator Chan Gailey – after the team’s loss to the Texans in Week 11. That was when they really started to come together, Marshall said. And with all that work done to mesh as an offense, Marshall doesn’t want to start over with a new quarterback.

“What we had and what we have is hard to create,” the receiver said. “It took us… six months to do that and most of the time it takes guys a couple years. So we feel like we’re really close. We have a great defense, we have a consistent offense and we have great coaches, so all we need to do now is continued to get more reps with the same guys.”

The Jets did have an effective passing offense, with Fitzpatrick setting the single-season franchise record for passing touchdowns, and managed to grab double-digit wins (though they fell short of the playoffs). But the reality is, with Fitzpatrick clearly desiring more money than the Jets are willing to offer him at the moment, the Jets face an unknown at the quarterback position.

Marshall was texting with Fitzpatrick while on air, and even asked his quarterback to Facetime in to the show. To no one’s surprise, Fitzpatrick declined.

Matt ForteJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Matt Forte

When Marshall was told that Robert Griffin III was going to visit the Jets later Friday, the receiver said, “interesting.” Marshall previously said he didn’t want the Jets to trade for Colin Kaepernick – another potential alternative at QB – because he wants the team to stick with Fitzpatrick. Of course, given that it looks like Fitzpatrick’s options elsewhere are dwindling, it increasingly appears like Marshall may end up getting his wish – though anything is possible in free agency.

One Jets move that Marshall definitely approves of is the acquisition of his former teammate, Matt Forte. And the wideout didn’t hold back in his praise for Gang Green’s new running back.

“Big pickup for us. He’s going to be great. Dependable,” Marshall said. “He’s the most underrated running back in the history of our game. Most people say the last eight years since he’s been in the league. In the history of football, he’s the most underrated running back, ever.”

Marshall certainly doesn’t shy away from superlatives when it comes to his running backs. Last year, he said then-teammate Chris Ivory was the best running back in the league.


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