After setting a Jets franchise record with 31 touchdown passes in 2015, Fitzpatrick crashed and burned in 2016. He was benched in December, then returned to finish Week 17 after Bryce Petty got hurt. This season Fitzpatrick completed 56.6 percent of his passes for 2,710 yards, a 6.7 yards per attempt average and a ghastly 12-to-17 TD-INT ratio.
The 34-year-old quarterback acknowledged after the season that there was next to no chance he'd return to New York in 2017. The Jets were treated to the entire Fitzpatrick experience in his two-year stint: The fearless gunslinger, taking advantage of his receivers and racking up TDs; and the turnover-prone headache that can't carry an offense.
Headed to free agency in a market scarce of QBs, Fitzpatrick could land a gig backing up a young quarterback -- the job he was signed to do in 2015 behind Geno Smith.
The Jets, meanwhile, will go back to the drawing board. Geno Smith will hit free agency and is surely gone. Bryce Petty did nothing in his limited time to suggest he's a solution. General manager Mike Maccagnan could use his No. 6 overall pick to select a first-round quarterback. That move would essentially be admitting that last year's second-round pick, Christian Hackenberg -- who ostensibly red-shirted 2016 -- was a mistake. Veterans like Tony Romo could be rumored to New York, but the Jets are far from competing for a Super Bowl title.