1. This was another solid move by Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan, who deals a conditional seventh-round pick (2016) to the Houston Texans for a quarterback who went 6-6 last season on a 9-7 team. Fitzpatrick has been on the Jets' radar for nearly two months as they monitored the Houston QB situation. Actually, this move is similar to what the previous regime did last year by signing Michael Vick -- an over-30 player with experience in the offensive coordinator's system and a guy who can provide competition for Geno Smith. Presumably, Fitzpatrick will get a fair shot to compete for the starting job, something Vick never was afforded. The basic dynamic doesn't change, though: It's a Band-Aid. The Jets continue to hold out hope that Smith can be the answer.
2. Why Fitzpatrick? It's a lean quarterback market -- no saviors -- but he appealed to the Jets because of his background in Chan Gailey's offense. In three years with the Buffalo Bills (2010-12) in Gailey's spread attack, Fitzpatrick posted some impressive numbers, including 71 touchdown passes. He had the accuracy and quick release to thrive in the scheme -- or so it seemed. Soon after signing a $59 million contract extension in 2011, he became a turnover machine and ended up getting cut after the 2012 season. But the point is, he knows Gailey, he still can win some games and -- let's face it -- Andrew Luck isn't walking through the door anytime soon.
3. When you're a team in transition like the Jets, it's important to have a guy in the quarterback room who can speak the language of the playbook -- besides the coach, of course. Fitzpatrick's knowledge of Gailey's system will help the offense, especially Smith. Hey, Fitzpatrick attended Harvard, so we have to assume he's a smart cookie with the ability to provide intel. Said one AFC personnel executive: "Never underestimate the ability of a veteran who knows the system that can mentor and teach the younger players and be a resource. There is a value to that."
4. Maccagnan, a former Texans executive, got an up-close look at Fitzpatrick. He won't blow you away with his arm strength, but he can direct an offense and get out of trouble if pressured. He was benched after nine games last season and returned to the Texans' lineup when Ryan Mallett was injured, leading to the game of his life -- a six-touchdown pass gem against the Tennessee Titans. His bugaboo is turnovers -- 101 career interceptions and 54 fumbles (24 lost). He finished the season on injured reserve with a broken leg. Obviously, he'll have to pass a physical for the trade to be finalized.
5. Why trade a draft pick when he probably would've been released? The answer is money. Fitzpatrick is due to make $3.25 million, relatively cheap in today's market. It would've cost the Jets another $1 million or so if they had signed him as a free agent. Plus, we're only talking about a pick in next year's draft, which could increase to a sixth-rounder based on playing time.
6. A question on everybody's mind: Does this preclude the Jets from drafting Marcus Mariota? No, but as I've been saying for a few weeks, I don't think Maccagnan and Todd Bowles are staying up at night, dreaming of Mariota. If Mariota falls to No. 6, the Jets would entertain trade offers. Fitzpatrick provides insurance and flexibility.