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Ryan Fitzpatrick Is An Ex-Jet

The Fitz era is over. What comes next?

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Fitzpatrick became an ex-Jet today when his contract automatically voided five days after the Super Bowl.  Fitzpatrick signed a two year, $12 million deal just before the start of training camp in 2016.  The deal was structured as a two year deal, but in reality it was a one year deal with a two year cap hit, a deal that automatically terminated today.  The Jets took a $7 million cap hit for the 2016 season and a $5 million cap hit in dead money for 2017.

The short "Fitzpatrick Era" started off with a bang in 2015 when Fitzpatrick took over as the starter for an injured Geno Smith prior to the start of the season and never looked back, providing some of the best quarterback play the Jets have seen in the last decade.  In one of the best seasons of his career Fitzpatrick set a Jets record for touchdown passes in a season in 2015 on his way to leading the Jets to a surprising 10-6 record.  Following Fitzpatrick's record breaking season the Jets and Fitzpatrick engaged in a long stalemate in contract negotiations, with neither side giving in until a deal was reached just prior to the start of 2016 training camp.  Fitzpatrick never looked like the same quarterback in 2016, and he wound up being benched multiple times on his way to posting the worst passer rating of any starting quarterback in the NFL during a dismal 5-11 Jets season.

While anything is possible, it seems extremely unlikely the Jets and Fitzpatrick will continue their relationship after the 2016 season.  That makes today the likely end of the short lived Fitzpatrick Era.  With only two raw quarterbacks left on the roster in Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, what comes next at the crucial starting quarterback position for the Jets is anyone's guess.