It’s now obvious why free agent QB Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t signed on the dotted line: The New York Jets are playing it safe and smart.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is no dummy.
He’s actually one of the more brilliant quarterbacks who’s ever laced ’em up and played quarterback in the NFL. If a Harvard degree in economics isn’t enough evidence for you, perhaps his ridiculous 48-of-50 score on the Wonderlic Test could be the true convincer.
The guy is ultra smart. We get it.
His smarts are why some fans are completely disgusted with what’s gone down this offseason between him and the New York Jets. If Fitz yings, the Jets yang.
Mike Maccagnan and the Jets have been equally as smart. This is a point some fail to understand and why we are still here, stuck in this situation.
For the most part negotiations in bringing the free agent QB back to Florham Park have been kept hush-hush. A little posturing from each end aside, the discussions have been kept quiet and professional.
All we know are some of the figures. One very important number came recently.
According to Mark Canniazaro of the New York Post, there is a 3-year deal on the table for Fitz designed to offer him $12 million in 2016. On the surface it seems like a beauty of a deal for the 33-year old journeyman signal caller.
That’s only the surface. Details of the contract portray a different story.
The 3-year offer includes $12 million in 2016, but just $6 million in 2017 and $6 million in 2018, barring incentives that provide the possibility for a grand total of $36 million. Without knowing the guaranteed money at stake, the entirety of the contract being offered is well below what Fitz is looking for and what’s comparative to market value.
So, the saga continues. And it continues because not only is Ryan Fitzpatrick smart, but Mike Maccagnan and the New York Jets are as well.
Simply due to the one fact that Fitz was asking for a money number that the rest of the league wouldn’t dish out, Mikey Mac knew he had all the time in the world. He knew none of the other 31 teams would bite and by this point all of the starting QB spots would have been taken care of.
Fitz knew the Jets would always welcome him back – based on their putrid NFL-ready talent at the position.
The true genius in the Jets smarts comes when realizing time isn’t a factor.
Not until training camp, when another NFL team might become desperate for a veteran QB, will the Jets feel any pressure. Should an injury occur with another starter and Fitz be contacted, is when, and only when, Maccagnan will be forced into serious financial action.
Even then Fitz will be hesitant to leave such a cozy situation with this ready-made offense run by his favorite pro offensive coordinator and two talented wide-outs.
Fitz sure has leverage when looking at the Jets talent at the position, but Maccagnan knows time is on his side. Even though he might act sooner, he won’t be forced to act until it’s absolutely necessary.
Offering a solid salary in 2016 and dipping it with heavy incentives for the following years is the only level Mikey Mac is forced to reach at this point.
It’s smart. Fitzpatrick does not want to leave. That is the best leverage either side has on the other.