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 on 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 two months, Fitzpatrick remains on the open market. 

Continue for updates.

Fitzpatrick Offer Details Revealed

Sunday, May 29

On Friday, Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post reported the Jets' offer is for three years with $12 million coming in the first year. Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports gave more information on the deal on Sunday, reporting the final two years have a value of $6 million annually. Robinson noted it's starter money for the first year and then "elite backup" money after.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network noted on Friday the deal has "been on the table since March."

Chris Lopresti of WFAN provided more details on the offer after Cannizzaro's report:

Fitzpatrick Negotiations Reportedly at Standstill 

Wednesday, May 25 

Brian Costello of the New York Post reported the Jets and Fitzpatrick have not had contract negotiations in weeks, and there has been "no movement."

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 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 friction between Fitzpatrick and his teammates if the quarterback does return, per Seth Walder of the New York Daily News.

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 Bleacher Report's Jason Cole, "there is no possible way" Fitzpatrick will play for the current deal the Jets are offering him: 

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 

ESPN's Adam Schefter (h/t ESPN.com) reported that 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 Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

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

Latest on Jets' Offer to Fitzpatrick

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 ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported on 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 NFL Network 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 starters in negotiations.

Cole first reported the info on March 2:

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

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 $22 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 can 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. 

Bowles Comments on Fitzpatrick

Tuesday, March 22

"We're working through it," Jets head coach Todd Bowles said, per Mehta. "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."

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) 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 the NFL Network first reported on March 10 that the Broncos had reached out to Fitzpatrick's agent, as the team is looking to form 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 for 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 that Fitzpatrick's price will only rise.


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