Being only 10 minutes from the facility certainly didn't help.
"I'm getting texts and calls from Brandon (Marshall) and (Eric) Decker and (Nick) Mangold and I'm going crazy in the house with my Rubik's Cube or my book or whatever I'm doing wanting to be here," Fitzpatrick told Michael Irvin on Good Morning Football. "And that was difficult for me, but it's behind us now, I'm here, we're going to work every day and this is what I love doing and I love being here."
Fitzpatrick, who signed a one-year, $12 million deal with $3 million more in possible incentives, had the benefit of entering free agency after the best season for a quarterback in franchise history (3,905 yards, 31 touchdowns and 15 interceptions). He also had the benefit of having his starting job essentially reserved for him during the offseason despite Geno Smith's presence at minicamp. Hearing that, and the constant stream of encouragement from the likes of Marshall and Decker, meant the world to him.
"That's why I play the game, that's why I love it," he said. "To have Brandon and Deck sticking their neck out and making different compliments and just being loyal, to me that puts a ton of pressure on me. Not because of the money, but because those guys wanted me here. They know what I can do and they know what we can do together. Every single day, that's what motivates me and that's what pushes me to get better."
It certainly should put more pressure on Fitzpatrick's shoulders. As we've noted in the past, he rode a sub-par schedule to a 10-6 season and has a much tougher road in 2016, including two more matchups against Rex Ryan defenses that are always difficult for him to work around. While no one would fault a player for waiting patiently to get his money, they can blame him for not showing up to play -- and this veteran-heavy Jets team has a lot riding on this season.