The trade will only cost the Jets a conditional seventh-round pick in 2016 that can become a sixth-round pick if Fitzpatrick plays a certain amount of snaps. After the Texans re-signed Ryan Mallett, and also signed Brian Hoyer, Fitzpatrick became expendable. The reason the Jets traded for Fitzpatrick instead of simply waiting for him to hit free agency is because they wanted to get Fitzpatrick on his current contract.
After the Jets splurged on cornerbacks yesterday they felt it made more sense to part with a conditional late-round pick in next year’s draft and keep Fitzpatrick on his current deal that will pay him $3.25 million for 2015. If Fitzpatrick had hit free agency his price tag would have gone up.
Fitzpatrick had his best season under the Jets new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey and at the very least he can help Geno Smith learn Gailey’s quarterback friendly system. Mallett and even Hoyer both have higher ceilings than Fitzpatrick but Fitzpatrick has the highest floor of all the free agent quarterbacks to hit the market this offseason.