Let's start with the look.
Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn't pass the NFL quarterback eye test. He wasn't blessed with the stature of Cam Newton, arm of Carson Palmer or presence of Aaron Rodgers. If we're being honest, he looks more like a tertiary character on Game Of Thrones. If we're being totally honest, he might best resemble a veteran place kicker who fell down a well.
Fitzpatrick's decision to grow out his hair and beard during his contract standoff feels like a clever ploy from the Harvard guy. It's like Fitzpatrick is telling us (and the rest of the NFL), "Isn't it funny people were making such a big deal about me? I'm Ryan Fitzpatrick! There's no need to take me seriously! You should probably focus elsewhere." Fitzpatrick might just be the NFL's answer to Billy Hoyle. A hustler disguised as a chump.
Fitzpatrick's unassuming nature is one of the reasons Jets fans fell for him. Well, that and the fact that he was stunningly productive last year. He set the Jets' franchise record with 31 touchdown passes, a reality that gets more shocking with time. His three-pick, crash-and-burn in Buffalo in Week 17 was unfortunate, but he was very nearly a hero there, too. Look it in, Kenbrell!
Make no mistake: The logical Jets fan enters this new one-year adventure with eyes open. Fitzpatrick remains -- last season's stretches of Fitzmagic aside -- a thirtysomething journeyman until he proves otherwise. He got lucky at times last year. He faces an uphill battle to match his 2015 numbers. One of the toughest schedules in the NFL won't help.
But Fitzpatrick is a far better option than the GenoCoaster and -- this is important -- a fun guy to root for. Jets fans don't get nice things. The succession of bad quarterbacks in the post-Joe Namath landscape speaks for itself. Last summer, I asked longtime Jets beat man Rich Cimini if a "Curse of Broadway Joe" explained the team's 40-plus year Super Bowl drought.
"I don't really think it's a curse," Cimini replied. "They don't have a quarterback! If they have a quarterback, they wouldn't have this problem. How many franchise quarterbacks have they had since Namath? Maybe there's a quarterback curse."
The Jets are still searching for that defining franchise star to succeed Namath. But to watch Fitzpatrick finally bring stability to the position, then walk over a couple million dollars, would have been maddening.
That won't be the case now. The Jets have their QB and bring back a strong defense that got better in the offseason. This is a team that can make some noise if things break the right way.
Of course, things never break the right way for the Jets. So forget it. There's no need to take them seriously. You should probably focus elsewhere. Just how the quarterback likes it.
Never change, Bill
Days Without A Freak Injury: 0
"I was locked out of my house after a late-night movie," Heinicke said, according to the Pioneer Press. "I came back and there's no one home, and I'm trying to nudge the door a little. It was one of those double doors. I thought it just needed a little nudge.
"Me and my buddy were getting it going a little, but when I put my foot to the door, my foot kind of slipped and it went through a window. It was just kind of a freak accident. I'm very embarrassed, but I'm just excited getting going with rehab and trying to get this going as soon as possible."
Hey, could always be worse. Right, O.J.?
There's something going on with Cam
Cam Newton is the league's reigning MVP and clearly in a comfortable place in his life. The fifth-year pro has always enjoyed expressing himself through fashion, but you get the feeling Cam could go next level this season. Could we be talking about the NFL's version of Clyde Frazier? As long as this doesn't end with a flight to Himalayas to chill with Mystic Steve, the Panthers are probably cool.
Five best things about Russell Wilson's new retro poster
We unpacked this situation earlier this week, but let's examine our favorite aspects of the poster itself right now.
Tweet Of The Week
Is this just a flimsy excuse to re-surface a photo of a prominent NFL general manager shirtless and wearing an authentic WWE championship belt? You betcha.
Quote of the Week
"No one makes better scrambled eggs than me."
Until next time ...