The News reported the Jets approached Ferguson last week at the team facility. According to sources, "there is a sense" Ferguson would be open to playing at reduced salary -- within reason, of course.
The Jets and Fitzpatrick are currently in a contract stalemate with reports indicating the two sides are as much as $8 million apart in negotiations on an annual salary. Ferguson, who has been a rock on the team's offensive line for 10 seasons, is set to count $14.1 million against the cap in 2016.
The Jets may view that cost as untenable, and it's possible Ferguson could be released if a compromise cannot be worked out. This wouldn't be an optimal solution for several reasons, including the fact the Jets have no realistic alternative to plug in at left tackle. Cutting Ferguson would save $9 million in cap space.
Another factor? The 32-year-old Ferguson's play slipped in 2015. Jets coach Todd Bowles gave a far from glowing endorsement at the NFL Annual Meeting, saying: "He did some good things and he did some not-so-good things."
Ferguson has two years left on his 8-year, $73.6 million contract signed in 2010. He has never missed a snap due to injury in his entire career, one of the game's most remarkable stats.