Ryan Fitzpatrick: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation Surrounding Free-Agent QB

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Ryan Fitzpatrick: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation Surrounding Free-Agent QB
Bill Wippert/Associated Press

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick hit free agency March 9 after he and the New York Jets were unable to agree to a contract extension before the start of the new league year. After four months, Fitzpatrick remains on the open market.

Continue for updates.


Marshall Meets with Fitzpatrick

Tuesday, July 26

Brandon Marshall, speaking on Michael Rapaport's I Am Rapaport podcast (h/t Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report) on July 18, said Fitzpatrick hadn't returned his text messages in two weeks.


Jets Reportedly Table Multiple Offers

Monday, July 25

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported the Jets "have given the veteran quarterback multiple offers with the hope of bringing back their undisputed leader from a year ago before the start of training camp this week."

Mehta added that the Jets have "presented at least one other option" to the quarterback beyond the original three-year, $24 million deal with $15 million in guarantees.


Cole: Players Encouraging Fitzpatrick in Negotiations with Jets

Friday, July 22

Jason Cole of Bleacher Report passed along the advice Fitzpatrick is getting now that the Jets are flirting with Geno Smith starting the season under center in New York:


Latest on Timeline for Potential Fitzpatrick Deal

Tuesday, July 19

Cole reported on how Muhammad Wilkerson's deal in New York may impact Fitzpatrick's potential return to the Jets:

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported earlier Monday on the state of talks between the Jets and Fitzpatrick (h/t Nick Shook of NFL.com):

There has been really no movement from either side, everybody is dug in. So it certainly could be within the realm of possibility that we have to see not just a little bit of [Smith], like maybe a couple reps in OTAs or mini camp, but a lot of [Smith], maybe even into preseason games, for there to be some sort of movement here between the Jets and Fitzpatrick, so expect to be having this conversation a few more times.

On July 12, the New York Post's Brian Costello, citing sources, reported that "there has been no progress" between Fitzpatrick and the Jets.


Decker Comments on Fitzpatrick Negotiations

Thursday, June 23

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker said he hopes Fitzpatrick's situation is resolved by training camp, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk:

I hope something gets worked out, one way or the other, so we cannot have distractions going into training campI think for any team to have success, you have to have some kind of direction. And, with training camp, that’s where you get the timing, that’s where where you kind of build the team and build your identity. And if it’s still in question marks and you don’t know what’s going on, you’re going to create some kind of issues that we don’t need to have.


Bowles Comments on Fitzpatrick

Thursday, June 16

"With all due respect, I'm through talking about Fitz," Jets head coach Todd Bowles said when asked how the backup quarterback situation would play out in the event Fitzpatrick returns, per Seth Walder of the New York Daily News.

On June 8, Bowles told reporters, "You can't worry about guys that aren't under contract."

"We're working through it," Bowles told reporters March 22. "It'll work out for the best. ... We want to sign Fitz back, but we have a plan in place in case (we don't)."

"It's a business. It takes time," Bowles added. "It's March. We're not playing right now, so everybody has a right to be stubborn."


Conflicting Reports Surround Potential 1-Year Deal

Thursday, June 2

Mehta reported the Jets "are not interested" in giving Fitzpatrick a one-year, $12 million deal. "Will not be happening," Mehta added.

Fitzpatrick was said to be interested in a deal on those terms, with Gary Myers of the New York Daily News reporting Wednesday that Fitzpatrick let the Jets know he would take such a contract.

Cole later reported that an opt-out clause might be the solution to the stalemate in negotiations:

However, Rich Cimini of ESPN reported the Jets will not sign the quarterback on those terms.


Fitzpatrick Comments on Negotiations with Jets

Monday, May 23

"I would like to be back," Fitzpatrick told reporters at Willie Colon's golf tournament.

Fitzpatrick also spoke on SiriusXM NFL Radio, saying that "it's been a process" and that it's a "good thing" the discussions have remained behind closed doors. The quarterback also said he had a "great time" last season and wants to "continue doing this" and that he is preparing for the season.


Deadline for Potential Fitzpatrick Deal Revealed

Wednesday, May 18

According to Ian Rapoport, May 24 is the "first legitimate deadline" that the two sides want a deal to be done. The date represents the start of OTAs for the Jets.


Johnson Comments on Fitzpatrick Talks

Tuesday, May 10

"No news," Jets owner Woody Johnson said, per Bob Glauber of Newsday. "Until both sides come together, there's no deal."

Johnson added he doesn't think there will be a rift between Fitzpatrick and his teammates if the quarterback does return, per Walder.

When asked if it was imperative the team sign Fitzpatrick to a new contract, Johnson said, "No," per Darryl Slater of NJ Advance Media on April 14.

"I think this is a big team," Johnson said, per Slater. "We've made our statements regarding Ryan Fitzpatrick well-known, and I'll stick with those that we've made."

When asked about specifics, Johnson simply told reporters, "I can't talk about any of those things, but yeah, we're working on that."


Cole: Fitzpatrick Refusing to Budge on Contract Demands

Wednesday, May 4

According to Cole, "there is no possible way" Fitzpatrick will play for the current deal the Jets are offering him:

Ian Rapoport reported on April 29 the Jets are expected to sign Fitzpatrick to a one-year deal and start him over Christian Hackenberg, whom the team selected in the second round of the NFL draft.


Conflicting Reports Surround Fitzpatrick's Willingness to Play for Jets

Thursday, April 28

Schefter (h/t ESPN.com) reported a source told him Fitzpatrick would "rather not play football" than play for the Jets at their current contract offer of $7 million to $8 million per season.

However, Costello reported that a source said Fitzpatrick wants to play next season. Cole confirmed Costello's report, although he added "whether [Fitzpatrick] plays for the Jets again sounds dicey."


Maccagnan Comments on Fitzpatrick Negotiations

Friday, April 22

"Our goal is to facilitate a deal with Ryan," Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said, per Mehta.

"It'll work itself out," Maccagnan added, per Kimberley A. Martin of Newsday.


Jets' Offer to Fitzpatrick 'Better' Than Earlier Reports

Sunday, April 10

"From what I understand, the offer is better than the $7 million to $8 million that is being reported, which means the low-ball perception isn't quite accurate," reported Cimini.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported March 11 that the Jets were "frustrated" with Fitzpatrick, noting they "aren't going to circle with him forever." Robinson added the Jets believe his market is "very thin" outside of New York.

"There's a standoff there," Schefter reported March 9, via NFL on ESPN. "Jets want him at a certain price. He wants more." Schefter, citing sources, reported March 10 the sides "are nowhere close to an agreement, with no deal expected anytime soon."

Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com noted that New York's offer is "a little better" than what Chase Daniel signed for with the Philadelphia Eagles. Adam Caplan of ESPN and Schefter reported March 9 that Daniel signed for three years and $21 million, with $12 million guaranteed.

The Jets have made it clear to Fitzpatrick they want him to return as the team's starting quarterback, according to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole, though the team reportedly isn't offering him the going rate for first-stringers in negotiations.

Cole also reported March 2 that several Jets players want the team to add another quarterback to challenge Fitzpatrick for the starting role.

Ian Rapoport, citing sources, reported March 7 the Jets and Fitzpatrick were "far apart on a potential deal."

Cimini speculated the two sides would ultimately agree on "a front-loaded contract that could include anywhere from $10 million to $14 million in guarantees. In terms of the entire package, it could be three or four years with an APY (average per year) of $8 million to $10 million."

Dom Cosentino of NJ Advance Media wrote that Sam Bradford's two-year, $36 million deal with the Eagles—which includes $26 million in guaranteed money—could provide a framework for the Jets and Fitzpatrick. Bradford's cap hit for 2016 is $12.5 million, which Cosentino believes is within the range the Jets and Fitzpatrick could agree upon.

Of course, if the Jets are balking at paying Fitzpatrick the going rate, as Cole reported, they are likely looking to pay him less than what Bradford received.


Jets Ask Ferguson to Take Pay Cut in Order to Sign Fitzpatrick

Saturday, April 9

Prior to announcing his retirement, the Jets reportedly approached D'Brickashaw Ferguson in hopes he'd take a "significant" pay cut so the team could re-sign Fitzpatrick, according to Mehta on April 6.

Mehta noted Ferguson was going to count $14.1 million against the salary cap in 2016.


Fitzpatrick Considered Top Remaining Free-Agent QB

Tuesday, March 22

Cole reported general managers believe Fitzpatrick is the best available quarterback, above free-agent Robert Griffin III and the San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick, who is rumored to be available via trade.

Cole added that most of the GMs believe Fitzpatrick would be a perfect fit for the Denver Broncos and that the longer Fitzpatrick remains on the open market, the less likely he is to return to the Jets:


Johnson Comments on Fitzpatrick

Monday, March 21

Johnson told reporters that re-signing Fitzpatrick remains "a priority" for the Jets. He also said he's "optimistic" about getting a deal done.


Broncos Interested in Fitzpatrick

Monday, March 14

Schefter, via ESPN.com news services, reported Sunday the Broncos reached out to Fitzpatrick's representatives after losing Peyton Manning to retirement and Brock Osweiler to the Houston Texans, but "Denver currently is unwilling to pay the salary that the quarterback is seeking."

According to Schefter's report, "The Broncos and Fitzpatrick could revisit those talks down the line, but for now, Denver will monitor Fitzpatrick's situation while continuing its attempt to bring in another quarterback to compete with Mark Sanchez, sources said."

Michael Silver of NFL Network first reported March 10 that the Broncos had reached out to Fitzpatrick's agent, as the team is looking to formulate a backup plan in case it cannot complete a trade for Kaepernick.


Fitzpatrick Looking to Benefit from Career Year

Fitzpatrick is 33 and has never been an elite quarterback, though he is coming off his best season in the NFL after throwing for 3,905 yards and 31 touchdowns, both career highs. He only completed 59.6 percent of his passes and did throw 15 interceptions, however.

A number of quarterbacks, including Osweiler, Daniel, Kellen Clemens, Matt Hasselbeck, Matt Cassel and Matt Schaub, are already off the market, so it's possible Fitzpatrick's price will only rise.

   

You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.

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