Florham Park, N.J. - There is a critical decision that must be made today. It will shape the future. This vote counts. No, it has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. The New York Jets have an important choice to make that can affect their franchise. The time has come for the coaching staff to elect Bryce Petty as starting quarterback for the New York Jets.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was a one-term quarterback. He had tremendous success in his first term. He instilled trust from management and fans - enough trust to be elected once again. It was a safe bet - the chemistry among Fitzpatrick and the team worked. But as the season sinks quickly and no light at the end of the tunnel, Fitzpatrick's approval rating has hit an all-time low in New York. It is time to elect a young man that can bring a breath of fresh air to the future of the organization - Bryce Petty.
Whether you love Fitzpatrick, dislike Fitzpatrick, believe in Fitzpatrick or doubt Fitzpatrick, the evidence is there and has only grown clearer in recent weeks. There is no reason for Fitzpatrick to be under helm any longer. New York sits at 3-6 in last place in the AFC East and playoff hopes are essentially dead despite math proving the opposite. There is nothing left to lose.
The Jets need to turn the page, cut their losses and move forward. They need to acknowledge they tried their best with Fitzpatrick and this group but it just did not work this time around. This decision is going to affect their future.
Petty and rookie quarterback Christian Hackenberg are the only signal callers under contract in 2017. Fitzpatrick will be gone as will Geno Smith. That leaves an untested Petty and undeveloped Hackenberg. If Fitzpatrick remains the starter, the Jets will go into next season not knowing anything about the direction of the organization.
They won't know if Petty can play among the best. They won't know if he could take advantage of a young wide receiving core with talented running backs. They won't know if Hackenberg can make the jump forward in his progression. If you consider those statements, there is no true logic to support Fitzpatrick as the starting quarterback regardless of your admiration for him.
Head Coach Todd Bowles is in a state of denial. While it is noble of him to support a man that has given his all, at some point, Bowles needs to do what is best for his team and more importantly - his job. In a conference call with reporters on Monday, Bowles kept the faith.
"We're 3-6. We're down - not out. Right now, I'm not worried about turning the page," said Bowles. "I'm worried about who gives us the best chance to win and right now Fitz gives us the best chance to win if he's healthy. If not, Bryce will get his shot to play."
The fourth-round pick out of Baylor in 2015 is in his second season under offensive coordinator Chan Gailey. During training camp, Petty showed signs of progress. In the preseason, he performed admirably well. It was not enough to get a vote of confidence from management but enough to get fans on his side in a never-ending quarterback competition. Petty was a success story in Baylor as he threw for 8,195 yards and 62 touchdowns in 36 games. The argument against him: the offensive playbook he played with is very different from the NFL.
Everybody is to blame for the current state of the New York Jets. No party is innocent. It was a bipartisan effort. With that said, New York must elect a new man to be quarterback. It would be a wise decision to name Petty as starting quarterback for the upcoming week against the Los Angeles Rams and the remainder of the season. By doing so, New York will know the direction of their franchise for the near future. Maybe the Jets have their 'guy.' Maybe Petty isn't the answer. The point is - nobody will ever know if he doesn't play.
Joe Barone is a staff writer for JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@28JoeBarone) or via email (email@example.com)