In response to the news that Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick may be inclined to take less money elsewhere than what the Jets are offering based on principle, a league source with extensive experience negotiating contracts has hit the nail on the head regarding that possible outcome.
As the source explained it, taking less elsewhere would equate to Fitzpatrick signing a deal that reflects his true value on the open market.
“If a player ‘takes less’ to go somewhere else, he is really only being paid what the actual market will bear,” the source said.
It’s the flip side, as the source points out, of the “hometown discount,” which teams often try to squeeze players into taking. Teams try to use the emotional connection to squeeze the player into taking less. When that happens, people get upset.
So why should a player squeeze a team into paying more than what the market will bear — especially when the team necessarily is already offering more than the market will bear?
In this case, the market for Fitzpatrick is somewhere below the quality of the offer the Jets have made. Even if Fitzpatrick believes he deserves more, his only alternative (other than waiting) is taking less.