The impossible has happened. After one of the most elongated holdouts of the NFL offseason, the New York Jets have signed Ryan Fitzpatrick.
I repeat: The New York Jets have signed Ryan Fitzpatrick. The deal is for one-year at $12 million and includes $3 million in incentives, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. We can now move on with our lives.
All along the messages from coach Todd Bowles and wide receiver Eric Decker especially, were the Jets wanted to resolve any quarterback questions by the start of training camp, and it’s no coincidence the two sides struck a deal on the same day the team reported to training camp in Florham Park, New Jersey. Deadlines breed deals, as was the case with Muhammad Wilkerson a few weeks ago, and as is the case with Fitzpatrick now.
So what does this mean? It means the Jets won’t be relying on Geno Smith to be the starting quarterback. The team is in too much of a win-now mode to put the incredibly inconsistent Geno Smith under center.
It also means Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall get their best friend back (hooray!), but most importantly, it’s now put up or shut-up time for Fitzpatrick.
This Fitzpatrick farce lasted over four months. Four months of the Jets coming forward with more than reasonable contract offers and Fitzpatrick balking each time. The team finally caved to a number Fitzpatrick would be happy with and there are no more excuses.
What happened in the fourth quarter against the Eagles last season can’t happen again. What happened in the fourth quarter in the first Bills game can’t happen again, and what happened in the second Bills game in Week 17 cannot happen again under any circumstance.
Following everything he put the fan base through this offseason, the pressure will be on Fitzpatrick like he has never seen, and he better deliver.