Jets: Fitzhugh was only offered practice squad spot

It didn’t take long for the story of Keith Fitzhugh to go national.

Tuesday afternoon, Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger first wrote about Fitzhugh’s decision to pass on a job offer with the Jets.  He did so to continue his career as a train conductor so that he could support his parents.  By the evening, Fitzhugh was besieged by calls from outlets wanting to hear his story.

Many folks wondered why Fitzhugh would pass up the large weekly salary of a NFL gig.  The Jets shed more light on the topic Wednesday when they said that he was only offered a job on their practice squad, not the 53-man roster.  That’s a $14,000-per-week difference.  Vrentast writes Fitzhugh was led to believe he may be put on the active roster.

The information provides context to the story, but it doesn’t change the selfless way Fitzhugh takes care of his parents.

“We’re just so proud of him. What parent wouldn’t appreciate that from their child?” Meltonia Fitzhugh told Chris Harry of Fanhouse.com. “He came to us and said, ‘Mom and Dad, you’ve done so much for me. You’ve supported me and taken care of me. You got me to practice and stayed on top of me with my grades, and now I’m going to help you.’ He’s showing us now how much he appreciates us.”

20 responses to “Jets: Fitzhugh was only offered practice squad spot

  1. Jets also revealed that the pilot who landed the jetliner on the Hudson River was actually in the bathroom at the point of touchdown, and had put the craft on autopilot.

  2. this story already has gotten too much coverage.

    all the same, it’s good to see a good man get some credit for being a good man with all the reports of bad things athletes do.

    go.Fitz.hugh.

  3. Funny what a little publicity will do. Smart decision by this kid. I gaurrantee other opportunities are going to open up for this kid now in regards to employment.

    He can come work for me.

  4. Now the Patriots would have kept a guy like this (with a good character). BB would have taught him how to better himself at his position and if he didn’t get a spot on the team another team would have picked him up.

    This is the difference between a class organization and one that thinks it has a super bowl ring coming to them.

  5. Golf clap. Man, can you imagine if more “kids” were like this guy. I don’t know if he can play or not, but this is the kind of guy that should be a role model.

    “We’re just so proud of him. What parent wouldn’t appreciate that from their child?” Meltonia Fitzhugh told Chris Harry of Fanhouse.com. “He came to us and said, ‘Mom and Dad, you’ve done so much for me. You’ve supported me and taken care of me. You got me to practice and stayed on top of me with my grades, and now I’m going to help you.’ He’s showing us now how much he appreciates us.”

  6. Actually his decision is even more logical considering that the position was only on the practice squad. If he has significant personal responsibilities to his family, which he does, then the uncertainness and temporary-nature of the practice squad would definitely not be the wise choice to make. He made the logical (and extremely tough) decision to stay in his permanent job because of that–the current job’s permanence and reliability. What a smart and courageous man.

  7. Whether the Jets are telling the truth or not, why do they need to make this statement, what good does this do for the organization.

    They look like a Junior high kid, who asked a girl on a date and got turned down. Now they have to prove to everyone that their still cool?!?

    Cmon now, you don’t have much class but surely you have more class then this.

  8. Exactly what I thought but not revealed in typical media stilleto fashion. No way a team will bring in a ‘guy’ off the streets right on to the 53 man roster. Fitzhugh knew this and knew he would only likely be there a week, or two at most.

  9. This story makes more sense now. Still wouldn’t be surprised if someone made a poor decision on financial matters.

  10. “Fitzhugh?” responded a gruff sounding spokesman for Norfolk Southern, “never heard of him but he sounds Irish. They never run their trains on time. I always try to hire Germans, myself.”.

  11. jamie54 says:
    Dec 8, 2010 5:33 PM
    Exactly what I thought but not revealed in typical media stilleto fashion. No way a team will bring in a ‘guy’ off the streets right on to the 53 man roster. Fitzhugh knew this and knew he would only likely be there a week, or two at most.
    ===========================
    He wasn’t just a “guy” off the street as you put it. Fitzhugh was an undrafted free agent last year, that the Jets signed and cut. He then signed with the Ravens to finish out last year. Danny Woodhead went through the same career path. In fact, there are plenty of NFL players who were undrafted free agents and went through the same exact process. I’d say every single NFL team has a “guy” off the street on their 53-man active roster. Some have even more.

    The difference between Fitzhugh and the other guys is that Fitzhugh’s father became unable to work and Keith ended up becoming a railroad conductor to support his parents instead of working on a practice squad in the hopes of moving up to the active roster.

  12. There was absolutely no reason for the New York Jets to make this clarification today, whether it is the truth or a fabrication. None. What purpose does it serve, other than to cast a pall on this young man’s decision.

    Classless.

    Just let the guy have his moment, he did nothing at all to harm or embarass the Jets orrganization.

    This team stinks to the very core.

  13. of course only a classless organization like the jets will release that statement.. tell me how 45-3 tastes like

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