Now? Not so much.
- Remaining free agents
- NFC free agency grades
- AFC free agency grades
- Free agency winners and losers
- Seven riskiest free-agent signings
- Robert Griffin III signs with Cleveland Browns
- Wesseling: Which franchises are on the rise?
- Collateral damage: Players hurt by free agency
- Collateral benefits: Players aided by free agency
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday morning that there is no end in sight for negotiations, the sides are still far apart and Fitzpatrick is seeing what the market offers.
The Jets' offer on the table is a little better than the three-year, $21 million contract that Chase Daniel received in Philadelphia, NFL Media's Albert Breer reported. In addition, the Broncos have been in touch with Fitzpatrick's agent, a source told NFL Media columnist Michael Silver.
The going rate for starting quarterbacks in today's market is roughly $18 million. Sam Bradford signed a two-year, $36 million contract. Brock "7 starts" Osweiler was handed $37 million guaranteed in the first two years of his $72 million deal. Kirk Cousins is also set to make more than $19 million if he remains on the franchise tag in 2016.
Fitzpatrick played better than all of the above quarterbacks in 2015.
The difficulty in negotiations could stem from the fact that Fitzpatrick's best fit is in New York. The 33 year old has been a pedestrian passer outside of Chan Gailey's offense. That knowledge could lead the Jets to try and whittle down the price tag.
At the same time, Fitzpatrick deserves to earn as much money as he can on the open market. With the Denver Broncos' gig remaining open, the quarterback has clear leverage. It only takes one other team to pay the veteran signal caller to be their bridge-to-somewhere before the Jets are left with Geno Smith starting, again.
In the end, a reunion still makes too much sense for both sides, but it won't come at the bargain the Jets might have hoped for at the onset.