A look at what's happening around the New York Jets:
1. Ryan on Ryan: A certain loud, once-portly coach in western New York is rooting against the Jets in the Ryan Fitzpatrick contract negotiations. Yes, Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan wants Fitzpatrick out of the AFC East. That may surprise you, considering Ryan has dominated the quarterback over the years. As a head coach and defensive coordinator, he's 8-1 against Fitzpatrick, including 2-0 last season. But the former Jets coach swears he doesn't want to face Fitzpatrick in 2016.
"I hope he goes somewhere else, I do," Ryan said last week at the NFL owners meetings in Boca Raton, Florida. "He's tougher than hell. What's lost in it is, he might have played poorly against us -- it might have been a bad day (in Week 17) -- but I think they won five straight with him and he was lighting it up, probably the most yards in the history of that franchise. We'll see. Like I said, I hope they lose him."
Actually, Fitzpatrick fell 102 yards shy of the franchise record for most passing yards, but Ryan made his point. One can only assume Ryan feels the way he does because he's licking his chops over the prospect of facing Geno Smith.
2. No go for Mo: I spoke to officials from four different teams at the owners meetings, and they all said they'd be surprised if the Jets execute a tag-and-trade with Muhammad Wilkerson. "Next to impossible" was how one official described the chances of a deal happening. It's not because teams doubt Wilkerson's ability; it's the price.
Any team that trades for the Pro Bowl defensive end would have to pay the player (figure at least $50 million in guarantees) and compensate the Jets. The consensus is that anything less than a first-round pick would be highway robbery.
So, basically, the Jets have a three-carat diamond ring and they're trying to sell it to K-Mart customers. It's not happening.
3. Did someone say 'holdout'? The Jets have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term contract with Wilkerson, per the franchise-tag rule. If there's no deal and he's really ticked off, would he stage a training-camp holdout? I spoke to one official at the meetings who went so far as to say he wouldn't be shocked if Wilkerson sits out a game or two in the regular season. That would take some onions because Wilkerson would be giving up $924,000 per game, based on his $15.7 million tag. Wilkerson is known for being stubbornly principled, but that's a lot of principle.
4. Big week ahead: The next few days could tell us a lot about The Great Quarterback Carousel. If Colin Kaepernick still is on the San Francisco 49ers' roster on Friday, his $11.9 million salary becomes guaranteed, making it harder to trade him. The 49ers' decision will have a trickle-down effect on the Denver Broncos (who are interested in trading for Kaepernick) and the Jets, who will gain leverage over the unsigned Ryan Fitzpatrick if Kaepernick ends up in Denver. In a few days, the bluffers could be exposed. You have to love NFL poker, don't you?
5. No second-guessing: Nearly three months removed from the season-ending debacle in Buffalo, Todd Bowles refuses to question his defensive strategy in that game. He played curiously soft pass coverage, allowing Sammy Watkins to run wild in the secondary. But Bowles insisted, "If I thought I made a tactical error somewhere, I'd admit that. I'd admit it to the guys." He said the Bills outplayed them, simple as that.
Bowles said he didn't know about Darrelle Revis' wrist injury until a couple of weeks ago, so it couldn't have been a factor in the game plan. Speaking of the wrist, the ligament was completely torn, according to a source. Pins were inserted during a surgical procedure and will be removed in about a month, when he can then begin rehab.
6. If at first you don't succeed ...: No team has drafted more quarterbacks since 1999 than the Jets -- not even the Cleveland Browns, known for their quarterback merry-go-round. The Jets' number is 10. Here they are, the imperfect 10 (in draft order): Chad Pennington, Brooks Bollinger, Brad Smith, Kellen Clemens, Erik Ainge, Mark Sanchez, Greg McElroy, Geno Smith, Tajh Boyd and Bryce Petty. Only two have winning records: Pennington (44-37) and Sanchez (37-35).
7. Happy feet: The Jets are optimistic about Petty's chances of developing into a starter some day, but Petty must improve his pocket presence. Bowles said, "When he gets pressure, he becomes antsy and his feet start moving." Bowles said Petty must do a better job of finding his check-down receivers. This will be a tremendously important offseason for the second-year QB.
8. Et tu, brute? Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told me he's not surprised by James Carpenter's success with the Jets. Carroll called him "a brute of a man," an ideal fit in the Jets' "man" blocking scheme. Carpenter, drafted by Seattle in 2011, was up and down in the Seahawks' zone-based running scheme. Good scouting job by the Jets.
9. Waffle House harmony: Bowles had a funny line when asked about his working relationship with general manager Mike Maccagnan. He said there hasn't been one day where they haven't been on the same page, prompting me to ask: Not one disagreement? He responded with a breakfast food analogy, which is not something you hear every day.
"We like certain players better than others, but we're talking eggs and bacon or bacon and sausage," he said. "We're not talking big disagreements."
Sounds kind of syrupy to me.
10. Budding star: While answering questions about former Jets staffer Kathryn Smith, whom he hired in Buffalo as the first full-time female assistant coach in NFL history, Rex Ryan mentioned the name of Jacqueline Davidson, the Jets' director of football administration. Ryan predicted big things for Davidson in the football industry.
"She's outstanding in her job and I don't think that it'll be long before you start mentioning her as a GM-type candidate, in my opinion," Ryan said.
Ryan and Davidson sat around the same bargaining table in 2010 during the contentious conference call with Revis' agents, a scene captured on HBO's "Hard Knocks." That was a nasty holdout, but Davidson cooked up the idea for a "Band-Aid" contract, according to Ryan.
"When most of us couldn't find a way to get it done," Ryan said, "she got it done."