According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Ryan Fitzpatrick would "rather not play football" than play for the Jets and their lousy offer. If true that's good for Fitzpatrick because it appears that's his only other option at this point. On the surface it might seem fair for Fitzpatrick to feel insulted by the Jets low-ball offer except for the pesky little fact that no one else has made him a better offer.
Fitzpatrick sat and watched quarterbacks like Brock Osweiler and Sam Bradford get overpaid this offseason and clearly thought he should get overpaid as well, but Jets GM Mike Maccagnan wasn't having it. Maccagnan saw how the quarterback market has changed and, wisely, decided that he wasn't going to overpay just because that's what teams do now. And because of this Fitzpatrick might be ready to take his ball and go home.
Maccagnan read the market perfectly, he saw Osweiler and Bradford get paid and he stood firm on his offer, he let Fitzpatrick test the market and the market didn't give Fitzpatrick any better offers. No one can blame Fitzpatrick for seeking more money, but it's simply not there. No one else wants to pay him more than the Jets so why should the Jets bid against themselves? For a Harvard guy Fitzpatrick has a really poor grasp on how the market works.
Yes, Osweiler and Bradford got overpaid because that's what the market is for guys like that, but what the Jets and the rest of the league are telling Fitzpatrick is he's not even in that market. He's a completely different market. He's in the 33-year-old journeyman quarterback, who has never been to the playoffs and has only really ever been decent with Chan Gailey and Gailey has made Tyler Thigpen and Kordell Stewart look decent, market.
Maccagnan has continually stressed that the Jets want Fitzpatrick back but only at a number they are comfortable with and that number is around $8 million per and it's absolutely the right decision to make. Maccagnan is always talking about the idea of having long-term flexibility and you don't get to have that by paying a 33-year-old journeyman quarterback more than $8 million per season.
Just as no one can blame Fitzpatrick for at first asking for around $18 million per year no one should blame him for choosing to "not play football" unless it's for more than $8 million per year, but if that's his stance it's pretty clear that he's just not going to play football anymore.
Chris Nimbley is the Editor-in-Chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)