Ryan Fitzpatrick could emerge as a free agent target for the Los Angeles Rams this offseason, Vincent Bonsignore of the L.A. Daily News reported.
Ian Rapoport reported on Monday that contract negotiations between the Jets and Fitzpatrick were "far apart" and that he is now expected to hit the open market (March 7).
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan have said this offseason that the team hopes to retain Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick, 33, threw for 3,905 yards with 31 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last season.
This was always the risk of letting Fitzpatrick make it to free agency unsigned. Despite handing out a generous contract to Nick Foles last season, the Rams have plenty of cap space to sign Fitzpatrick should they want to. According to OverTheCap.com, the Rams currently have $44 million in available space while the Jets have a league worst $6.5 million.
The Jets number could quickly increase given any number of cuts or restructures, but Maccagnan seems to be holding still as he gets a sense of how the first few days of free agency are shaping up. Yesterday Fitz's agent Jimmy Sexton volleyed a vague threat about the Jets far from re-signing Fitzpatrick. After it was brushed off by most he decided the best next step is to make a much more specific one.
Let's see what sort of offer the Rams make and then what the Jets have to say about it. If the figures are north of $15 million per year on anything more than a two year window I'll be dumbfounded and the Rams can have Fitzpatrick. The Jets would be wiser doing the same thing they did last year when they traded for Fitzpatrick; go out and find another familiar but devalued quarterback who can fit their system.