The Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick remain locked in their free-agency stalemate as the NFL Draft rolls on.
But Brady Quinn, a Fox Sports analyst, thinks a deal will happen at some point after the draft, even if it means Fitzpatrick lowers his asking price.
“I think what happens in the end is he’s going to end up playing,” Quinn told Newsday on Friday at the Empire State Building while on a break promoting Purina’s Roll Over Hunger campaign. “And he’s going to play for not necessarily what he wants at $16 million, but he’d probably be willing to play for $12 [million], 13 million.”
Fitzpatrick reportedly said he would rather sit out the 2016 season than accept the Jets’ latest contract offer. A source told Newsday’s Kimberley A. Martin that the Jets’ initial offer was about $7 million, but it’s unclear how many counter-offers have been made since.
Quinn said he thinks Fitzpatrick and the Jets could agree on a salary similar to what 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is making. Kaepernick is due to earn $11.9 million in base salary in 2016.
“Even though he had a better statistical year than Colin Kaepernick, Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t been to a Super Bowl,” Quinn said.
But there’s no rush to get a deal done just yet. The Jets are focused on the draft, and they took Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg in the second round Friday night. Meanwhile, the market for Fitzpatrick largely has remained stagnant, and Quinn says that could mean a reunion as the season gets closer.
“Especially if they get into training camp and all of a sudden Geno Smith doesn’t look good, or they don’t take a quarterback in the draft, or Bryce Petty hasn’t progressed,” he said before the Jets took Hackenberg.
Then they would have a more dire need for Fitzpatrick.
“Players don’t get paid until the games start,” Quinn said, “so until that point in time, I would think Ryan Fitzpatrick can rely on the money he’s made, his Harvard degree, and the fact that they’re going to be in need of him at some point in time.”