While Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan were wining and dining free agent Brian Hoyer Tuesday night, the Jets quarterback-of-choice was out on the town with his favorite offensive weapons.
Ryan Fitzpatrick attended Tuesday night’s Rangers-Penguins playoff game at Madison Square Garden with several Jets, including receiver Eric Decker, center Nick Mangold, backup quarterback Bryce Petty and tight end Zach Sudfeld.
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Decker posted a video on social media of the crew hanging out at the game. The clip, which featured the hashtag “#breaktheNYinternet,” showed Fitzpatrick in a blue No. 28 Rangers jersey — the same number worn by center Dominic Moore, a fellow Harvard grad.VoteJets 2016: Keep 'em or dump 'em?See alsoBe the Jets GM in 2016 NFL DraftVotePick 'em: Jets 2016 schedule
While Fitzpatrick was enjoying his boys’ night out with his former teammates, sources confirmed the Jets brass was getting to know Hoyer, 30.
The former Houston Texans signal-caller was informed of his release over the weekend and is now eager to find a new job. The Jets, meanwhile, are a quarterback-needy team desperate to find a starter for 2016.
But even with Hoyer in town, the Jets’ priority remains re-signing Fitzpatrick.
The Jets have made it clear they’d prefer to have Fitzpatrick back, but agreeing on contract terms that suit both parties is another story. The impasse has reached a sixth week and it’s unclear when — or if — a resolution will be reached.
In the meantime, the Jets have been doing their due diligence with other quarterbacks. Robert Griffin III also visited their complex earlier in the offseason before signing with the Browns.
Last offseason, the Jets expressed interest in Hoyer, then with the Browns, and in Fitzpatrick, then the Texans starter who was rehabbing a broken leg. Houston signed Hoyer to a two-year deal in March 2015 and agreed to trade Fitzpatrick to the Jets.
Despite being benched during Houston’s season opener, Hoyer eventually won back his starting job from Ryan Mallett. Hoyer, who suffered two concussions in 2015, threw for 2,606 yards, 19 TDs and seven interceptions with a 60.7 completion percentage and a 90.1 passer rating. But he fell apart in the most critical game of the Texans’ season, throwing for only 136 yards and four interceptions in a 30-0 wild-card playoff loss to the Chiefs. Nevertheless, as many as five teams are interested in Hoyer, ESPN reported.