Not Re-Signing Ryan Fitzpatrick, Starting Geno Smith Could End New York Jets' Playoff Hopes Before Season Starts

By Jason Fletcher

In 2015, the New York Jets were able to win 10 games and came within one victory of making the playoffs. Head coach Todd Bowles and new general manager Mike Maccagnan seemed to have really made a difference in their first season together, and things were finally beginning to look up for a franchise that’s consistently struggled with losing.

One of the biggest bright spots for the Jets last season was quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick who had the best year of his career as he threw for 3,905 yards and 31 touchdowns. In the process, Fitzpatrick endeared himself to the other veterans on the team, including wide receivers Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall.

With only being on a one-year deal, everyone knew that the Jets and Fitzpatrick would have to work something out this offseason in order to keep the offense intact. But with no viable replacements on the roster and not enough cap room to make a run at a free agent like Brock Osweiler, most experts assumed that the two sides would reach an agreement.

Here it is May 26 and that agreement still hasn’t been reached, and the Jets sound intent on starting Geno Smith if Fitzpatrick doesn’t come down with his contract demands. While I believe Smith would be capable of leading the Jets to the cusp of the playoffs in a normal situation, he would have no chance after the news that broke on Wednesday.

According to Pro Football Talk, Decker and Marshall are refusing to attend OTAs as a show of protest against the Jets for not signing Fitzpatrick. Not only does that spell trouble for the Jets and put them in a precarious position, it also puts Smith in a no-win situation if he is thrust into a starting role. If his receivers would rather have someone else throwing them the ball, then he would have almost no chance of success.

Things are becoming more and more dire for the Jets the more this situation drags on. If Fitzpatrick isn’t re-signed, then I don’t see any way the Jets make the playoffs in 2016.

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