That was the story offered by the two star wide receivers, who spoke to reporters Wednesday a day after arriving for voluntary workouts with Gang Green teammates.
"That's not the reason I wasn't here," Decker told a large group of scribes at his locker, according to ESPN.com. "I told coach where I was and what I was doing. I was with my family."
There was never any report directly tying Marshall's absence to Fitzpatrick's contract impasse, but the All-Pro made sure to get on the side of the story that keeps him out of the most sensitive issue in Florham Park.
"You guys know how I feel about Ryan," Marshall said. "I've said it over and over again, all offseason. There's a thin line between supporting your teammate and being detrimental to the team. ... At this point, it's time for all of us to move forward and try to figure out how we can win some games."
ESPN's Rich Cimini reported Marshall gave a nearly identical answer when pressed on the issue by a reporter.
And the saga rolls on.
Negotiations between the Jets and Fitzpatrick appear to be in a more uneasy place after specifics of New York's long-standing offer were leaked to the public. This can be seen as a wholly reasonable contract offer for a journeyman like Fitzpatrick, though the other side of this argument -- Fitzpatrick rescued the Jets from the embarrassing Geno Smith soap opera and set the team record for touchdown passes -- certainly has merit.
In other words, it's a sticky situation and you can understand why Marshall and Decker want to stay out of it. Or, one might imagine, they were strongly persuaded to do so.