New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan has recently spoken about quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Did he make the right decision to re-sign him this offseason?
The 2016 season has been an absolute disaster for the New York Jets. After a 10-6 season in 2015, the Jets were never able to get going this season. One of the reasons for the Jets struggles was the poor season from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
After setting the franchise record for touchdown passes in 2015, Fitzpatrick has played some of the worst football of his career in 2016. This season, Fitzpatrick has totaled eight touchdown passes and 13 interceptions.
General manager Mike Maccagnan has been very quiet this season, but he recently spoke with the media about the state of the Jets. Obviously, one of the main questions was about whether or not he regretted bringing back Fitzpatrick.
“We’re obviously disappointed by the season in terms of the record,” Maccagnan said to Darryl Slater of NJ.com. “Based on the season [Fitzpatrick] had prior to this season, he was very instrumental in a lot of our success in the 10-6 season. I have no regrets about bringing Ryan back. I think going into it, we felt very good about the season Ryan had previously.
Options at quarterback were rather limited for the Jets this offseason, as very rarely does an elite quarterback hit free agency. Most of the time, a team has to strike gold through the NFL Draft to find their franchise quarterback, and that is something the Jets haven’t accomplished yet.
“I have no regrets from that standpoint. Of course, I think everybody and Ryan included, would probably say he holds himself to a fairly high standard. I’m sure there are aspects that he would like to … we all would like to have better success on the field as a team. But from the standpoint of bringing Ryan back, no, I don’t have regrets on that.”
Maccagnan shouldn’t have any regrets about re-signing Fitzpatrick this offseason. The long negotiation resulted in a one-year deal for Fitzpatrick, as Maccagnan likely knew in the back of his mind that Fitzpatrick wasn’t going to be the answer long-term.
Even though he was good for the Jets in 2015, Fitzpatrick did show signs that he was coming back to earth towards the end of the regular season, and also in important games. After throwing for 31 touchdown passes in 2015, bringing back Fitzpatrick was the right move for the team. In addition to the good 2015 season, the young quarterbacks on the roster were certainly not ready to be starters in Week 1.
The one option that was there was Geno Smith. Many believed that Smith could be the starter for the Jets this season, but he unfortunately tore his ACL when his chance finally did come this season. If Smith succeeded as a starter after Fitzpatrick was benched, Maccagnan would be under some heat for the re-signing of Fitzpatrick.
Maccagnan has looked toward the future with the drafting of Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, and we will now hopefully see what they can do. Fitzpatrick was never the long-term answer for the Jets, but he was their best option heading into the season.
Now, the Jets must focus on the development of Petty and Hackenberg for the rest of the season. There is no reason to start Fitzpatrick another game this season, as the final six games should be used to evaluate the young quarterbacks on the roster.