<
>

Time waits for no man, but will Jets wait for Ryan Fitzpatrick?

It may appear the Jets have all the leverage because Ryan Fitzpatrick has no other suitors, but Fitzpatrick knows he's the preferred choice and that gives him some power. Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

Reaching into the post-draft mailbag for a hot-button issue involving the New York Jets:

@RichCimini: You're referring, of course, to the Ryan Fitzpatrick standoff. And, yes, I believe the Jets have a plan. Todd Bowles said last weekend that he'd like to have it resolved by the start of training camp in late July. There's an element of posturing to this, of course. The organization wants to project a "We're-not-in-a-hurry" attitude because it doesn't want to come across as desperate. The reality is, they'd like to have it done as soon as possible.

If the Jets wait until July and decide to move on from Fitzpatrick, they will have wasted an entire offseason, precious time that could've been used to prepare another veteran quarterback. Maybe, in their minds, they've already decided their post-Fitzpatrick plan includes only Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. If that's their plan, it's a bad one. If they wait that long, they're basically handing the job to Smith.

There will be a couple of key dates to watch along the way. May 24 is when they start practicing for real, albeit on a voluntary basis. (Ha!) Actually, there would be an upside to Fitzpatrick's absence; it would create more practice reps for the others. After that, the next key date is June 14, the mandatory minicamp. It wouldn't be mandatory for Fitzpatrick; you can't violate a contract if a contract doesn't exist.

Some people think the Jets have all the leverage because Fitzpatrick has no other suitors, but Fitzpatrick has some power here, too. He knows he's the preferred choice; GM Mike Maccagnan makes that abundantly clear every time he opens his mouth. No matter how they spin it, the Jets don't want to start Smith -- and Fitzpatrick knows it. Sure, maybe they could swing a panic trade, but would someone like Josh McCown be the answer?

The NFL is a deadline business. Deals usually don't get done until the 11th hour, so that's why it wouldn't surprise me if this drags into July.