Jets on Ryan Fitzpatrick: ‘If we get Ryan, he’s our starter going in’

If the New York Jets truly want Ryan Fitzpatrick back, they need to make it happen.

In an attempt to strengthen an already unappealing quarterback situation, the New York Jets shocked the draft when they selected Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg in the second round of the NFL Draft.

Clearly, getting Fitzpatrick signed for a one or two-year deal would be the ideal scenario for the Jets, who basically have three backup quarterbacks — at best — in place at the moment.

According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Jets head coach Todd Bowles had this to share about the team’s quarterback situation.

“If we get Ryan back, he’s our starter going in, but they’re more than welcome to take the position from him. Obviously, Ryan earned it from last year, and it’s going to be hard to take it from him. Everybody else falls in, and let the competition work itself out.”

Something will have to give for Fitzpatrick to return. The last report is that the Jets are offer Fitzpatrick backup pay to sign with them. His response is reportedly that he would rather not play than take the offer.

The Jets obviously can’t have their cake and eat it too when it comes to Fitzpatrick.

The selection of Hackenberg complicates Fitzpatrick’s bargaining power as well. With another quarterback in the mix, the Jets are less likely to bend now that extra insurance is in place with Hackenberg.

According to Cimini, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan didn’t necessarily commit that Hackenberg would be spending a year in learning like Bryce Petty did last season: “We’ll see how he progresses,” he said.

If Fitzpatrick re-signs with the team, it is likely that either Petty or Geno Smith will find themselves the odd man out.

With Fitzpatrick under center last year, the Jets went 10-6 while Fitz passed for a career-high 3,905 yards and 31 touchdowns. It would be unrealistic to assume Hackenberg, Smith or Petty would match this success in 2016.

The Jets quarterback saga will definitely be worth monitoring over the upcoming weeks. Meanwhile, disappointed Jets fans are speaking out.