I have to hand it to GM Mike Maccagnan, he's quickly showed himself to be a shrewd negotiator. He may have taken this all the way to the deadline, but it was a deadline outlined by the man himself, and in the end he got his guy at the price he wanted
Last night John explained the benefits of this deal and I can't agree with it more. The Jets didn't want to lock Ryan into a long term deal, we have two quarterbacks being developed and Ryan has had an inconsistent career. He couldn't find the leverage he needed, and in the end the deal was struck. He does have some incentives in the contract, but that is dependent on the teams success, and if the team has the kind of success to trigger the incentives, nobody is going to care.
Ryan spoke to the NY Daily News this morning and I urge everyone to head over to read the full slate of quotes on offer, and I think it's clear that the word 'relief' is probably the most suitable one to use about this situation being finally resolved.
"Oh my gosh... it's been a long six months for sure, The biggest feeling was relief. Just relief to have it over and done with. And then when I was driving in (Wednesday night to the team facility) and walking up to the team meeting, it was like the first day of school. I was just all excited to see everybody and to be back in the building. Because through the entire offseason program, I wasn't allowed to be there. It was such a weird feeling. I was 10 minutes away just sitting at home getting calls and texts every day. After every practice, talking with the guys and not being allowed in the building to participate and compete with them. That made it an awfully long offseason for me. Now I'm ready to get to work."
All through the off-season it was widely believed that a deal would get done. At the end of the day, Fitzpatrick didn't have any other suitors willing to pay him the money he was looking for. He knew the system, he enjoyed a career year here, and he had a fair amount of money on the table, if only for a year. However he's betting on himself with this contract, but he always knew it was likely to get done:
"I thought that it would always get done, Unfortunately, we had to go through that long process to get to the end result. But I didn't have any doubts that at some point it would work itself out"
The season didn't end the way the Jets had hoped, missing out on a playoff spot despite an impressive 10-6 record in the first year under Todd Bowles. The loss to Buffalo hurt, but if you listen to Ryan, his belief is that he's only going to get better, despite him being 34. I don't know if I'm ready to buy into that, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him have another productive year. When you're throwing to Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, and have that safety valve of Matt Forte coming out of the backfield, your numbers are always going to look pretty good.
"I'm getting better as a quarterback," Fitzpatrick said. "A lot of that is an understanding of the game, of myself, of who I'm playing against. So I think there's been a nice upward trend in my career of getting better as I get older.... This is the fifth year that I'm going into the year as a starter. So it's not like I've had a 12-year career where every year I've been the starter. There have been a lot of times when I've been the backup. So there's been a lot of growth in my career. I'm just excited for the opportunity this year, but I think I'm going to continue to get better."
I'm just happy that we can move forwards now. With Mo signed, Lee signed and now Fitz signed...it's full steam ahead to the Bengals game, lets see how much Fitzmagic he has left in that wonderful beard.