Yesterday reports started emerging from multiple outlets that the Jets standing offer to Ryan Fitzpatrick was much better than previously reported. After months of negotiating and saying they wouldn't negotiate through the media, the Jets decided to negotiate through the media.
Original reports had the Jets offering Fitzpatrick a multi-year deal worth around $8 million per year, but with wide receiver Eric Decker maybe, sort of, skipping OTAs as a form of protest against the Jets not having signed Fitzpatrick the Jets decided to get on the offensive as all of a sudden everyone had reports of a three-year deal that would pay Fitzpatrick $12 million in the first-year. Conviently details on the first-year were all any reports mentioned.
Clearly the Jets are willing to offer Fitzpatrick a cool $12 million in year-one, but they want to have the flexibility to move on after the 2016 season, which is obviously what has Fitzpatrick digging his heels in wanting more money on the backend. But the Jets aren't willing to commit to more down the road, not for a 33-year-old quarterback who has never made the playoffs and certainly not after drafting Christian Hackenberg in the second-round.
So the case has been taken to the public, through the media, and because they only mentioned terms of the first-year of the deal some simple deductive reasoning let's us know the other two years aren't nearly as generous. But the thing is, it's still the best deal out there for Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick, fans, and media members can all point to the salaries of other starting quarterbacks, and even some backups, and say the Jets are undervaluing Fitzpatrick but they are still valuing him more than anyone else. The average salary for a starting quarterback only matters if multiple teams have interest in a particular quarterback, but the Jets are the only team interested in Fitzpatrick which makes every other contract in the league completely irrelevant.
Your worth on the open market is determined by how much someone is willing to pay you, they can choose to use other salaries as a guideline or not, but if no one else is willing to even offer Fitzpatrick $12 million for one season why should the Jets continue to increase their offer? Smart teams don't bid against themselves, that's how you find yourself in a precarious cap position down the road.
So yes, the Jets took the negotiations public and clearly kept the details of the final two-years under wraps, but none of this matters because fair or unfair it's still the best offer Fitzpatrick has received.
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)null