The Jets are finding willing media participants for their Fitzpatrick P.R. push

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On Friday, reports began to surface that the Jets offered weeks ago to free-agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick a three-year contract that would pay out $12 million in the first year. Curiously omitted from those reports were the rest of the details regarding the offer — details that would say plenty about its overall quality.

Let’s set aside for now the question whether Fitzpatrick deserves more than $12 million per year in light of: (1) the market for starting quarterbacks; (2) recent increases in the salary cap that haven’t sparked a similar spike in the starting quarterback market; and (3) the franchise-record 31 touchdown passes from Fitzpatrick’s first and only season with the franchise. The far more intriguing aspect of the latest Fitz-related developments is that some in the media have flat-out whiffed in their assessment of the information leaked by the team. (And of course it was leaked by the team.)

The biggest offender, from the perspective of the size and reach of the organization, has been the Associated Press. Consider this key portion of the AP article: “A person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press on Friday night that the Jets made a three-year offer to the quarterback in March that includes $12 million guaranteed in the first year. . . . The New York Post first reported the terms of the offer, which is higher than the previously reported amounts that were closer to $7 million per year. However, total guarantees and contract structure of the Jets’ standing offer are uncertain.”

That tail-on-the-donkey “however” doesn’t alter the characterization appearing immediately before it. Instead, it makes the overall message even more confounding.

Without knowing the structure of the full deal, it’s impossible to say that a $12 million payout in 2016 results in a three-year average that exceeds $7 million per year. If, for example, the offer pays out $9 million in 2017 and 2018, the three-year average is still $7 million.

For weeks, PFT  has heard that the problem isn’t the Year One payout but the rest of the deal. Without specific information about the rest of the deal, it’s impossible to characterize it in comparison to prior reports that the deal is worth $7 million annually.

Whether inadvertent or deliberate (the fact that the article later claims that Fitzpatrick “apparently” wants $18 million per year suggests the latter), the AP has helped the Jets’ not-so-subtle effort to overstate the value of the offer that Fitzpatrick has yet to accept as part of a P.R. push aimed at persuading unsettled Jets fans that the team is being reasonable and/or that Fitzpatrick isn’t. The better approach continues to be trying to find a middle ground, but the Jets apparently aren’t willing to yield in their position.

The John Elway take-it-or-leave-it approach works best when there’s a freshly-minted Lombardi in the lobby. Four years ago, before the team went to a pair of Super Bowls, Elway didn’t lowball an aging and rickety Peyton Manning. With neither Peyton Manning in his prime nor any other franchise quarterbacks walking through the door for the Jets, the best play would be to find a fair middle ground between whatever the Jets want to pay and whatever Fitzpatrick wants.

38 responses to “The Jets are finding willing media participants for their Fitzpatrick P.R. push

  1. jetsclaps says:
    May 28, 2016 10:00 AM
    It’s the best offer on the table for Fitzpatrick by far. That’s all you need to know.
    ______________________

    Here’s what you need to know. Fitzy just broke your franchise record for TDs with 31. Geno Smith has 12 TDs and 13 TDs in his 2 full seasons as starter. I can’t believe a Jets fan would side with the Jets here. They’re low-balling the guy after an awesome year, and it’s crystal clear that Fitz is – by far – their best option. Pay fair price or throw away the season. Take your pick.

  2. They don’t need to meet in the middle. The jets know what everyone else knows, Ryan Fitzpatrick is an aging, mediocre QB that blew it in the most important game of the season last year.

    Not to mention throwing to TD machines Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. They played a much bigger part in those 31 TDs than Fitz that’s for sure.

    Biggest mistake the Jets made was not signing Hoyer for 4-6 mil. He would have replicated Fitz’s production at a fraction of the cost Fitz is asking for.

  3. I think that teams should be forced to pay “fair market value” to every player. That said, judging from the contracts thus far offered to Fitz by other teams, his fair market value is zero since none have offered him a contract.
    As I see it, he can do just like the rest of us who look for a job: take the wages offered or not work. We all try for more money, but, in the end, take what the employer is willing to pay.

  4. Whatever you think about the way they are going about their business, the fact is they are right. Just because other teams have gone insane and thrown huge money at mediocre QBs doesn’t mean they should.

    I find it interesting the Fitzpatrick backers, when discussing how good he is, never go past last year. You do realize last year was not his first season right?

    And you are aware of what happened the last time someone threw a big money deal at Fitz, right? How’d that work out?

  5. Any QB would be decent throwing to those two stud WR.

    I say they ride with Geno and see what he has to offer.. instead of way overpaying a guy thats destined to fail.

  6. “The John Elway take-it-or-leave-it approach works best when there’s a freshly-minted Lombardi in the lobby.”
    That didn’t seem to work so well with Osweiler.

  7. They only time I’ve liked the Jets is when Joe Willy won Super Bowl 3. They are not on my “you can do it!” list.

    That being uttered, why not pay Fitzy a one-year high-dollar “let’s see what you really got” contract. See if the guy really improved or it was just a fluke season. Go from there. My 2 pennies.

  8. When your body of work is mediocre, at best, with one outlier season of “good not great” then you only get $12 million.

  9. Fitzpatrick has no market at present. Teams are going to see what they have.

    Injuries happen. Some teams may realize that what they have isn’t that good.

    A market might develop during training camp. If not, Jets lowball offer likely to still be there.

  10. 1. The Jets had a very easy schedule in 2015, and failed to make the playoffs. “Fitzmagic” lost both games to Buffalo, including an especially bad one on the last day of the season, with multiple picks.

    2. The Jets face a much harder schedule in 2o16 (Seahawks, Cardinals, Steelers, Bengals)

    3. The Jets lost some good players this off season

    4. When looking at Fitzpatricks “great stats” try watching game tape. See how much Brandon Marshall helped.
    Imagine me (I’m not a pro-athlete) on an NBA court tossing up a rainbow to my team mate LeBron James who out jumps the next guy, turns around and fires it in. I get an assist. Fitz’s performance wasn’t so amazing.

    The Jets have no possibility of making the playoffs.

    What do the Jets gain by overpaying him? Going 8-8 instead of 7-9? Who cares?

    Don’t pay Fitz, let him walk. Use that money fro Sheldon Richardson.

  11. “The John Elway take-it-or-leave-it approach works best when there’s a freshly-minted Lombardi in the lobby.”

    Really? How did that work out in negotiations?

  12. nehxas13 says:
    May 28, 2016 10:21 AM
    They don’t need to meet in the middle. The jets know what everyone else knows, Ryan Fitzpatrick is an aging, mediocre QB that blew it in the most important game of the season last year.

    Not to mention throwing to TD machines Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. They played a much bigger part in those 31 TDs than Fitz that’s for sure.

    Biggest mistake the Jets made was not signing Hoyer for 4-6 mil. He would have replicated Fitz’s production at a fraction of the cost Fitz is asking for.

    ——————————————————————

    No, the biggest mistake the Jest made was not getting a team option for the second year

    In the non-guaranteed world of NFL contracts, it would have cost them little to nothing

    They just figured they needed a one-year stop gap and left it at that

  13. PFT loves the Steelers says:
    May 28, 2016 10:19 AM
    Here’s what you need to know. Fitzy just broke your franchise record for TDs with 31. Geno Smith has 12 TDs and 13 TDs in his 2 full seasons as starter. I can’t believe a Jets fan would side with the Jets here. They’re low-balling the guy after an awesome year, and it’s crystal clear that Fitz is – by far – their best option. Pay fair price or throw away the season. Take your pick.
    _____________________

    And here’s what you need to consider. The Jets can’t realistically pay that contract forward, they don’t have any cap daylight until 2018 and that will come via several significant roster departures, so even an incentive laden contract would be problematic. They hit 10 wins against a fairly easy schedule but face a brutal one this year, that best option will be lucky to get them to 8-8. Maccagnan can read a schedule but it’s tough to sell a success starved fan base that got a taste last year. No doubt if the cap space was there the Jets & Fitz would be having a very different dialogue right now. Maccagnan inherited a tough spot, with or without Fitz they are going to step back before they move forward.

  14. rexryansboobs says:
    May 28th, 2016 11:45 a.m.

    No, the biggest mistake the Jest made was not getting a team option for the second year

    In the non-guaranteed world of NFL contracts, it would have cost them little to nothing

    They just figured they needed a one-year stop gap and left it at that

    —————

    It’s not like the Jets signed him. They traded for him and his already signed contract. They could have redone his deal but there was no reason to. He was a 33 year old mediocre backup then and he’s a 34 year old mediocre backup now. Nothing has changed.

  15. Why is it none of these discussions pay any real attention to their cap situation? Just as Rex did Bowles no favors, Idzik left Maccagnan an absolute mess. Whatever the contract middle ground is it still needs to be paid. Idzik’s cap ‘management’ and his swing and miss on Geno is really what’s driving this bus. Maccagnan’s only real misstep was not having an option in Fitz’s contract but that may have been because Fitz read the tea leaves and didn’t want to give an affordable one.

  16. It’s not like the Jets signed him. They traded for him and his already signed contract. They could have redone his deal but there was no reason to. He was a 33 year old mediocre backup then and he’s a 34 year old mediocre backup now. Nothing has changed.
    ________________

    True they traded for him but when they brought him in they knew they would have a need for him even as a backup beyond that one year. They didn’t take advantage of the leverage position they were in when they acquired him. And something definitely changed, they won 10 games and their fans’ expectations soared. Victim’s of their own success

  17. If Deflategate taught us anything, it is that most media care only about content they can sell, truth be damned.

    The 2016 presidential coverage is no better.

    Character use to count. Not so much anymore.

  18. PFT loves the Steelers says:

    Here’s what you need to know. Fitzy just broke your franchise record for TDs with 31.
    ==================================

    That’s not saying much.

  19. If he’s considered to be only a mediocre backup, don’t sign him. Tell him to take a hike. On the other hand if you think he is good enough to be your starter, and not a backup, pay him!

  20. This is difficult all the way around now…

    Both sides have good points in their favor.

    We all know it’s a business, so do the players. But sometimes the “business” side of football spills over onto the playing side, affects morale etc.

    The Jets are close if they aren’t already there.

    Fitz, you’re a good QB, not great. I get it that other QB’s have been signed for gobs of cash and you feel you deserve more based on the funny money that is the NFL that’s been passed around.

    I can see your point. But you’re also 33 and you’re smart, very smart so you realize that your window to earn a few more tens of millions of dollars is short, like the next 2 to 3 years.

    Of course you want to play, you’ve said that. The Jets play a difficult schedule this coming season and you’re already missing time and the offense is missing time with you as well.

    It sucks to see others that you think aren’t as good as you get more than you…

    Many of us are in this same boat in the places we work minus the millions of dollars. We see idiots get promoted and get bigger salaries because they know the boss, grew up with the boss, are dating the boss etc.

    I’m not a Jets fan but a Bears fan. I’d still like to see this end and sooner than later for the Jets.

  21. I don’t like the way the Jets made this public. It tells me that one of the two are ready to walk away.

    Negotiating in public is never the smart move. And the Jets are starting to incubate a player revolution.

    I hate Woody Johnson.

  22. If the Jets sign Fitz to a “Market Value” deal, then you should expect a Rex Ryan return in 2 years after Fitz bombs this season, is kept on, hoping to be salvaged the following season, then cut the third season. Why do I say this? Because this is how it went in Buffalo. Same QB. Same “Revelation” season. Same ending. No Playoffs, and pressing the reset button.

  23. Could this all be a Snyderesque play by Woody to get some mileage out of Geno? If not, then why not sign Hoyer at a discount?

  24. This ain’t baseball, you don’t get paid for what you did, it’s what they think you will be worth this season and beyond. This is Fitz’s best deal by far, nobody else wants him. The Jets don’t have to pony up and overpay for a qb who’s play at best has been erratic. Granted he did have a good statistical season but just because teams like the Eagles grossly overpaid their qb doesn’t mean the Jets have to. Fitz thinks he is entitled to at least 18 mill a season he has another thing coming. Market value is not a number, its what the highest bid for said players services are and right now, the Jets have the best and ONLY offer on the table. Don’t like it Fitz, I hear the Home Depot is hiring. Now for Decker and Marshall, it’s all happy happy joy joy that you are sticking up for your mate but don’t think the FO will forget this when they have a hard decision to make whether or not to bring you back. You may have just cost yourselves the BOD in the near future.

  25. Looks like it’s time for someone to step up and break Geno’s jaw again…. And what about the Bryce Petty kid? Why not give him a shot?

  26. I swear, for most of these articles they always pick a ridiculous picture to go along.

    On another note, I am absolutely ecstatic on how much publicity & recognition Fitzmagic is receiving due to all of these contract talks/drama. If you told me all of this 4-5 years ago, when Fitz was taking the reigns in Buffalo, I probably would’ve never believed it. First, because he now plays for the Jets. Second, because I never in-a-million-years would’ve pictured him & Chain Gailey back together. They truly did do work in some games for the Bills. the 2012 season being a prime example of when Spiller broke out. My favorite year of NFL football, overall, till this very date. So many of my favorite players went ham that year. Jamaal Charles being one of them.

  27. Its amazing how I heard so many Bills fans echo the same opinion of Fitzpatrick whilst at that Thursday night monochromatic game. That’s the Fitzy we know.

  28. Last I checked 12 mil in 2016 and 9 mil 2017 2018 is $30 mil and avges $10mil a year… Not 7 but I get your point. Fitzy has had limited success without this Offensive Coordinator, is prone to turnovers in big moments and last years success is more due to offensive coach and the weapons he had. I love his heart but not worth $12 mil a year or more long term regardless what other qbs have been overpaid.

  29. As much as I wish the Jets could pay fitz 25 million, they are right to offer what they are offering. NFL contracts are dictated by the market. Thats it. There is no market for Fitz aside from the Jets. Why bid against themselves. Realistically, sure, Fitz was record breaking, but a deep dive into his stats shows more than anything, this season was an anomaly. Maybe the chemistry is so good it works again, but I wouldnt bet on it. The Jets are not an obvious title contender with fitz on the roster either, so again, why would they break the bank for him?

    Simple economics at work here people. I love fitz, but I love rational general management a lot more.

  30. I really don’t understand this idea that one great year towards the tail end of a journeyman career makes a guy worth $36,000,000 or more. What if Marshall gets hurt? Or Decker? Do we think Fitz is Tom Brady all of a sudden?

  31. If Fitzpatrick is as smart as everybody makes him out to be, then he would be the one asking for a one year contract and bet on himself to do great in 2016 and maybe get some big money offers in 2017 if he proves that he can be more than a ONE YEAR WONDER.

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