Florham Park N.J. - Like sands through the hourglass, so are the contract negotiations between the New York Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick. That is the ongoing script of this seemingly endless soap opera between a front office that refuses to overpay for a journeyman quarterback whose stubbornness is getting in the way of a match made in heaven. The saga continues. The ratings are at an all-time high. The viewers sit and wait on their couches to see which party will blink first or if a compromise can be met.
There is no unexpected plot twist or an overly dramatic climax. The facts are in black-and-white. According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, talks between the Jets and Fitzpatrick have stalled, and it seems as if there is no end in sight.
"There has been really no movement from either side," Rapoport said Monday on NFL Total Access. "Everybody is dug in." The plot thickens.
Both parties remain grounded. Fitzpatrick wants a raise for his record-setting 2015 campaign and understandably so. The free agent quarterback did complete close to 60 percent of his passes for 3,905 yards and 31 touchdowns last season. It was one of the greatest seasons for a quarterback in Jets history. With that said, he is no Hall of Famer.
The Jets management believes an investment in a 33-year-old quarterback who has never reached the postseason would be unwise. Defending that case is the three-interception performance in Week 17 against the Buffalo Bills with playoff hopes on the line. With all things considered, the Jets and Fitzpatrick have finally reached an impasse if there was not one already. While that refuses to be resolved, fans and media members wait for the slightest of news that may change the situation. Do not hold your breath.
"It certainly could be within the realm of possibility that we have to see not just a little bit of Geno Smith, like maybe a couple reps in OTAs or mini camp, but a lot of Geno Smith, maybe even into preseason games, for there to be some sort of movement here between the Jets and Fitzpatrick. So, expect to be having this conversation a few more times," Rapoport added.
There are two things that can happen during training camp. If Smith performs well and blossoms with this opportunity, Jets General Manager Mike Maccagnan's case for a cap-friendly deal or no deal at all can be solidified. But, if Smith takes two steps back and falters under the microscope, the Jets will be in dire need for a quarterback. The ball will enter Fitzpatrick's court, as Maccagnan's team will be desperate to fill the void Smith could not accomplish. This is all speculation. One thing is for certain, the longer Fitzpatrick holds out, the more practice Geno Smith will receive. There is no denying the extra reps can surely benefit the growing Smith.
It is all but assumed that talks between the Jets and Fitzpatrick will once again resume, but when? It can be resolved in training camp. It can be resolved in the preseason. Or, it can blindside the audience like the Muhammad Wilkerson contract and end tomorrow. There is plenty of uncertainty surrounding the saga but fans are not the only anxious party involved. Earlier this week, Brandon Marshall voiced his concern as well.
"To be honest, me and Fitz talk every day, all the time, but I texted him the last two weeks three times and there's been no response," Marshall told Rapoport. "It's not like him. It's scaring me right now. It's scaring me that my guy hasn't texted me back."
The soap opera continues. It is a tragic love story. Will Marshall establish a connection with his mate again? Can Smith defy the odds and be the starting quarterback? The conclusion remains unwritten.
Joe Barone is a staff writer for JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@28JoeBarone), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)null