By Brad Carroll
The New York Jets remained busy on Day 2 of NFL free agency, this time pulling off the expected trade with the Houston Texans for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. With incumbent Geno Smith on the roster, it's likely Fitzpatrick will be the Jets starter once the season begins. Of course, that's if the Jets don't wind up with Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota through the draft. Then, it will be a completely open competition.
If you're a Jets fan, pray for that last option.
Fitzpatrick is better than Smith, and that's why this move was made. He's not great. He's not flashy. He's not even the guy a team would want as their starting quarterback. But the Jets are desperate, and Fitzpatrick was available for a late-round draft pick next year, so the deal was done.
Fitzpatrick will make $3.25 million next season, the last year on his contract.
The Texans obviously thought very little of Fitzpatrick, as they signed Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett to compete for their starting quarterback job. The Jets get the leftover in Fitzpatrick.
Is there anything good about the trade? In terms of talent, Fitzpatrick is an upgrade over what the Jets currently have at the position. Fitzpatrick also knows new Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey from their days together with the Buffalo Bills. So, he should already have a grasp of the offense Gailey will run.
Fitzpatrick began last season as the Texans starter, but eventually lost his job to Mallett. He returned for three starts after Mallett was injured and threw six touchdown passes against the Titans. Fitzpatrick broke his leg in his final start and was lost for the season.
Overall, he threw for 2,483 yards in 12 starts, with 17 touchdown passes and eight interceptions. He had a quarterback rating of 95.3.
For his career, Fitzpatrick has 123 touchdown passes and 101 interceptions, which is a horrible ratio.
But he's better than Smith.
The Jets have improved their roster drastically over the past few days and the trade for Fitzpatrick continues that trend. But he's not the answer. The Jets still need a starting quarterback to lead this team into the future.