The New York Jets and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick have been squabbling over a new contract for months, and now both sides are reportedly leaking their feud to the public in a messy game of public relations.
A few days ago, The New York Post reported the Jets have a standing three-year offer on the table to Fitzpatrick with $12 million guaranteed in the first year, and the deal could be worth as much as $36 million with incentives. That sounds pretty fair, right?
Well, that's the Jets' side of the story.
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On Sunday, the Post wrote that the offer includes only a $6 million base for the second and third years of the deal, which is well below market value for Fitzpatrick. The $8 million average annual value would rank 23rd in the NFL, and it's fair to say Fitzpatrick is a top-15 quarterback in the NFL by pretty much any measure.
So that's his side. Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio ties it all together:
Two days after the Jets (and, yes, it was the Jets) leaked to anyone who was listening that their longstanding offer to Fitzpatrick pays out $12 million in the first year of a three-year deal, multiple reports (undoubtedly instigated by Camp Fitz) indicate that the deal has a total base value of $24 million over three years.
The bigger takeaway is that the nothing-personal situation between team and player is quickly getting personal, starting with sympathy OTA absences by receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, continuing with the team's obvious effort to make Fitzpatrick look greedy, and culminating in Fitzpatrick's effort to expose the Jets as cheap.
Fitzpatrick started all 16 games for the Jets last season, throwing for 3,905 yards with 31 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, who has openly expressed a desire to play for the Jets (something not many would do). He's a competent NFL quarterback, and the Jets desperately need one of those.
This can't be that hard.