Starting Thursday, free agents signed by teams won't count toward the compensatory draft-pick formula for next year. Normally, this date is just a blip on the offseason radar screen, but it's worth mentioning in relation to the New York Jets because of the ongoing Ryan Fitzpatrick stalemate.
What does it mean? If a quarterback-needy team emerges from the weeds and decides to sign Fitzpatrick, it doesn't have to worry about it counting against its compensatory picks. There are no strings attached to him, even if he signs a big deal and enjoys a Pro Bowl year. This makes Fitzpatrick, who has no known suitors (other than the Jets), slightly more attractive on the open market.
Let's be realistic, though. If Fitzpatrick hasn't generated a market to this point, it's unlikely that one will develop -- unless a team suffers an injury.
Basically, free agency ended at the close of business on Wednesday. Players still can sign elsewhere, but, again, they won't factor into the compensatory-pick equation, which is complicated.
Aside from Fitzpatrick, the Jets have eight players in that category:
Defensive end Stephen Bowen
Kicker Randy Bullock
Guard Willie Colon
Defensive end Leger Douzable
Safety Jaiquawn Jarrett
Linebacker Jamari Lattimore
Wide receiver Chris Owusu
Linebacker Calvin Pace