The spat between Ryan Fitzpatrick and the New York Jets lasted for several months and at least appeared to show faith in Geno Smith’s ability to take over the reins as the team’s starting quarterback. But on Wednesday, one day before Jets players were set to report for training camp, the dispute ended with a one-year, $12 million deal for Fitzpatrick.
“Geno’s here at number two right now unless Bryce and Hack have some great gain, if they come along like gangbusters,” Bowles said. “Number two right now, it’s open.”
Smith is the only one of those four who was brought in by a different regime. Mike Maccagnan took over as the Jets general manager in January 2015, a day before Todd Bowles was named the new head coach. In their 18 months on the job, the Jets added Fitzpatrick and drafted both Petty and Hackenberg.
Neither Petty nor Hackenberg has ever thrown a pass in the NFL, so it’s tough to imagine the Jets parting ways before they have a chance to develop. And if they keep both of those players, as well as Fitzpatrick, that leaves the Jets with a choice: Keep four quarterbacks or part ways with someone.
San Francisco took steps to fix one of the guard spots by signing free agent Zane Beadles, and then traded up back into the first round to land Stanford guard Joshua Garnett. A line consisting of Joe Staley, Garnett, Daniel Kilgore, Beadles and Davis would be significantly better than last season’s line.
It’s unclear if Davis is in football shape and can regain his job, but for now, he is allowed by the NFL to play in 2016.
The deal is especially surprising after the Chiefs struggled to negotiate with Eric Berry during the offseason after placing the franchise tag on the safety. Berry has not reported to training camp and is expected to miss much of the preseason due to his frustration with the Chiefs, and now the team has even less cap space to work with.
Fisher, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, struggled with injuries early in his time with the Chiefs and had a poor rookie season, drawing early bust prognostications. But he steadily improved and has settled in as a solid left tackle for Kansas City. He especially shined during an AFC Wild Card game against the Houston Texans when he dominated a hobbled J.J. Watt, eventually smushing the injured defensive lineman and forcing him to leave the game.
The extension for Fisher is much more about the path that the Chiefs believe he is on than the performance he has provided in his first three NFL seasons. It could mean Berry’s time with the Chiefs is coming closer to inevitably ending, though.
And none of those reasons to part with Smith even mention how he has played on the field. In his 29 starts, the Jets are 11-18 while Smith has tossed 27 touchdowns and 35 interceptions. Fitzpatrick led the Jets to a 10-6 season in 2015 with 31 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.