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Winner of Fitzpatrick-Jets: Their QB

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By Anthony Caruso III

The New York Jets knew they couldn’t go into their 2016 season with Geno Smith as their starter. He’s shown that he’s not a capable starter in this league.

That’s why their hands were tied in this situation with Ryan Fitzpatrick. They knew that they had to sign the veteran at all costs, even with his woeful career record.

On Wednesday, that’s exactly what happened. They settled on a one-year, $12 million deal with an option to make an additional $3 million incentives to make the total package of $15 million should he reach all the marks.

In addition, this likely means Fitzpatrick will leave the team after this season. The Jets would then target a free agent quarterback, or hope that either Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg will be ready.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (Getty Images)

In March, Fitzpatrick was requesting $16 million a year — and there was speculation that his camp was requesting a four-year, $72 million deal.

The Jets were only willing to give him $9 million per season. Fitzpatrick knew he wasn’t going to sign with another team, no matter what he said.

Why wasn’t there interest in signing in other teams? Who really knows. Early on, there was interest from the Denver Broncos but that ended when they traded a conditional pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for Mark Sanchez.

This was an example of a poker game, where it was bad on both levels. Fitzpatrick gets about a 400% raise after making more than $3 million last season, while the Jets are stuck with a non-franchise signal-caller once again.

Fitzpatrick is one of six quarterbacks to start all 16 games since 2000. They’ve also used 11 starting signal-callers since that time.

Only Vinny Testaverde, Chad Pennington, Brett Favre, Mark Sanchez and Smith started all 16 games during a season in the past 16-years.

While the Jets are putting their faith in Fitzpatrick once again, he’s still the same player that he’s always been. He’s never guided a team to the playoffs — and threw three interceptions in the Jets final game against the Buffalo Bills with a playoff shot on the line.

Last season was a career-best for him after bouncing around in the league for so long. He went 335-of-562 for 3,905 yards with 31 touchdowns and 15 picks.

He still has a career record of 43-61-1 — and had a record of 33-55-1 before being rejuvenated in Todd Bowles and Chan Gailey‘s system. Fitzpatrick had a .500 mark with the Houston Texans, who traded him to the Jets, at 6-6, while all other records are below that mark.

In his career, he’s 2,087-of-3,473 for 23,178 with a 154 touchdowns and a 116 interceptions.

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