It’s almost August and Ryan Fitzpatrick and the New York Jets remain at a contract impasse. Fitzpatrick, however, doesn’t seem to be losing sleep over it.
“He’s doing well,” Herm Edwards told Brent Stover and Brendan Haywood, who were filling in as hosts of CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I actually talked to him yesterday. He’s got a smile on his face. Now obviously he misses the camaraderie with his teammates, but I think eventually this thing gets done. I just think it’s one of those situations. It’s the business of football and all players know it. You hate for it to be on your watch, but sometimes it is. Sometimes you scratch your head and you wonder why one guy signs and another guy doesn’t. That’s just part of the business part of it, but I think mentally he’s ready to play football and I think the Jets will find a way to get this thing resolved.”
Fitzpatrick wants a multi-year deal that pays him like the 10-win quarterback he was last season, but it takes two to tango.
It seems the Jets don’t feel like dancing.
“Well, that’s business,” Edwards said. “I just think they look at him and say, ‘Hey, he had a great year, but it’s been one year. It’s one year of work and this guy’s been on five football teams.’ So they’re looking at that, too. His best success has been with Chan Gailey and this offense. I think he had a fabulous year. If he would’ve gotten to the playoffs, maybe we wouldn’t be having this conversation, but that wasn’t the case.”
Of course, even if Fitzpatrick, who turns 34 in November, were to sign, say, a three-year-deal, it’s unlikely he would play it to completion. Why? Because the Jets would almost surely cut him before then.
“If I was a player in today’s world, I would only sign two-year deals, especially in football,” Edwards said. “Just bet on yourself. Ownership in our league knows they’re not going to guarantee a five-year contract. They will guarantee you some upfront money. But no contract is guaranteed in this league. That’s always the way it’s been. They know that is their staple. You may sign a five-year deal, but if you’re not performing after the third year of the deal, they’ll get rid of you. They’ll give you some upfront money because they know (they’ll) make it back next year. (Guaranteed contracts) have never happened in the history of football. That’s one thing the owners will never let loose.”
Ray Rice, 29, is another veteran without a contract. Rice, who hasn’t played since 2013, has pledged to donate his salary to domestic-violence programs if he is signed by an NFL team.
If Edwards were a coach, he’d sign Rice in a heartbeat.
“I would have brought him in last year,” Edwards said. “I’m friends with Ray Rice and I worked on his behalf and called some guys. He was on some coaches’ lists, but it just didn’t take fruition. The problem he has now is he’s an older running back. It’s not so much (that he’s) a distraction. He’d been a model citizen. He’s been an advocate for what has happened to him. He’s done it the right way. I just think age has a lot to do with it anymore. The value of a running back, they’re not as valued as much as they once were. When you get into that range where he’s at with his age, that’s the problem. That’s kind of what happened to him last year a little bit.”