Barring a massive alteration in general manager Mike Maccagnan's spending plan, a pact will not be reached before the NFL draft, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday, leaving a potential move up for a rookie quarterback wide open for speculation.
Fitzpatrick, who is 33, had arguably the best season for a quarterback in franchise history last year, hurling 31 touchdowns over 3,905 yards en route to 10 wins. Only Joe Namath threw for more yards in a season (4,007 in 1967), but that year also came with 28 interceptions. Nobody has thrown for more touchdowns in a single season for the Jets.
Last year was the perfect marriage of scheme, timing and talent as the Jets were a game away from reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Fitzpatrick's relationship with offensive coordinator Chan Gailey goes way back, and it is safe to say that finding an able replacement would be difficult this close to the season. Like most people expected, this will be a waiting game. One side needs to come up and one side needs to come down.
As we noted before, Fitzpatrick doesn't have the best record against the common opponents in his division, especially Rex Ryan. He also didn't perform as well against the better half of the Jets' schedule in 2015. Add in the fact that the team has lost a franchise left tackle and will face Seattle, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Los Angeles, and we might have part of the reason why the team is hesitant to spend too much money.