Ryan Fitzpatrick: 'I'm playing football next season'


As the messy contract stalemate has played out between the Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick this offseason, we've heard next to nothing from the man at the center of the storm.

On Monday, Fitzpatrick resurfaced at a charity golf outing hosted by former Jets teammate Willie Colon. Fitzpatrick told SiriusXM NFL Radio that he couldn't put a percentage on his chances of returning to the Jets, but made it clear he fully intends on continuing his career coming off his best season.

"I'm playing," Fitzpatrick said, via ESPN.com. "I'm playing football next year."

Is Fitzpatrick surprised that he remains unsigned?

"It's just been a process," he told Erik Coleman of SiriusXM NFL Radio. "I think the good thing about it is a lot of it has happened, discussions and everything, behind closed doors," he said. "We'll keep it that way, and just try to get something worked out. I think both sides have done a good job at not necessarily airing grievances to the public."

Fitzpatrick set a Jets single-season record for touchdowns in 2015 and guided New York to a surprise 10-win season. The veteran journeyman hoped that success would parlay itself into a big payday, but the Jets have yet to budge off their initial contract offer, widely believed to be in the $8- to $10-million annual range.

Fitzpatrick said he's gotten past the point in his career where he studies the salaries of his peers, but clearly the quarterback and his representation are using the QB landscape as a sticking point in their negotiations. In a league where Kirk Cousins will make $20 million next season, you can perhaps understand why Fitzpatrick has dug in his heels.

"I had a lot of fun playing last year. I want to continue to play," he said. "I'd love to continue to play with the guys that I played with last year. In terms of the dollars and cents, that's not really something I'd like discussing right now. There's a negotiation going on, and we'll keep it behind closed doors.

On the surface, Fitzpatrick doesn't sound angry or bitter. That's a good sign, seeing as a return to the Jets remains the most sensible option for both sides.