With camp approaching, Jets-Ryan Fitzpatrick QB drama intensifies

The New York Jets open training camp July 27 at their year-round facility in Florham Park, New Jersey. Here’s a closer look at the Jets' camp, which wraps up on Aug. 24:

Top storyline: Who's the starting quarterback? The Jets aren't the only team facing this question, but they're the only one with a quarterback competition taking place off the field -- front office versus agent. Welcome back to the Ryan Fitzpatrick saga, one of the most bizarre contract disputes in recent memory. Crunch time is fast approaching, as the Jets have indicated their desire to have it resolved by training camp. Don't bet on it; this could go into camp. Chances are, it'll get done at some point, but it's not a slam dunk. As we learned with Muhammad Wilkerson, negotiations are hard to predict. If the impasse lingers into August, it will be a major distraction -- a media feeding frenzy. Only the Jets create drama like this.

If the starting QB doesn't … re-sign, the Jets are in trouble. They say they'd be comfortable with Geno Smith as the starter, but let's be real: This is Fitzpatrick's team. Even though last season may have been an aberration -- he set the franchise record with 31 touchdown passes -- he still offers more hope than Smith, whose career record as a starter is 11-18. Plus, if they lose Fitzpatrick, they'd have to sign an experienced No. 2. because neither Bryce Petty nor Christian Hackenberg is ready.

Player who will have fans buzzing: Fans will get their first up-close look at Matt Forte, the former Chicago Bears star. The Jets haven't had a running back with a 50-catch season since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2010; Forte has done it six times. He will excite with his versatility, but does he have enough electricity in those 30-year-old knees to replace Chris Ivory as the No. 1 back? Forte thinks so. He'd like to maintain the same workload from Chicago, which means at least 20 touches per game.

Position battle worth watching: Buster Skrine and Marcus Williams will compete for Antonio Cromartie's old job at cornerback. Skrine is the favorite because of his experience in man-to-man schemes, but he has to watch the penalties. If you want a battle with international flavor, check out the punters, Lach Edwards and Tom Hackett, a couple of rookies from Australia. Edwards has a big-time leg, giving him a slight edge over his countryman.

That rookie should start: Jordan Jenkins has a terrific chance to claim the outside linebacker job on the strong side. The third-round pick is a physical player with "heavy hands," as the coaches like to say. In theory, he should be even better when the pads go on. If he can handle the mental aspect, he'll be an opening-day starter. There's no incumbent at Sam linebacker.

Veteran whose job is in jeopardy: Zac Stacy, who began last season as the No. 3 running back and a part-time kickoff returner, could get squeezed out of a crowded backfield. Stacy is returning from a broken leg, as is his main competition for the No. 3 job, Khiry Robinson. Stacy, 25, actually is a year younger than Robinson, and he has a better track record, but the Jets are intrigued by Robinson because they don't think he has reached his ceiling.

Repairs on Revis Island: Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis, whose play slipped last season, will test his surgically repaired wrist for the first time in contact drills. If he can't use his hands to jam receivers at the line, the trait that made him great, the 31-year-old Revis could be vulnerable in downfield coverage because he has lost a step, and he never had elite speed. He relies on his ability to dominate at the line of scrimmage.

Summer of Sheldon, Part II: For the second straight year, defensive end Sheldon Richardson will go into camp facing a league suspension at the start of the regular season. But this time it's only one game, not four, so the Jets will take a different approach. Instead of demoting him and limiting his reps, as was the case last summer, they will give him a full camp. This will help his conditioning; Richardson admitted he was out of shape after last year's suspension.

What fans will be saying after camp: After a turbulent start to camp (see: Fitzpatrick contract squabble), the fan base will be spewing optimism as the regular season approaches. A dose of reality: It has been 30 years since the Jets won 10 games in back-to-back seasons.

For updates at camp, check out the New York Jets clubhouse page.