Players began reporting to training camp Wednesday. When asked about the monthslong stalemate between the Jets and the free agent quarterback, running back Matt Forte revealed to reporters he’s not allowed to address the topic.
“All questions about Ryan is for Coach (Todd) Bowles,” Forte said, according to the New York Daily News. “They told me to tell you all that.”
Center Nick Mangold, however, discussed Fitzpatrick, although in an odd, roundabout way.
In saying he’s not at all curious about where talks between the team and Fitzpatrick stand, he drew a comparison to the pungent “corpse flower.”
“What’s it going to matter?” Mangold said, according to NJ.com. “Listen, curiosity is going to get you over to that plant in the Bronx [at the New York Botanical Garden] and smell that terrible smell. Yeah, the corpse flower. Curiosity is going to get you to smell something. Some people want to smell something bad. Some people want to find out different mindsets. I don’t particularly care.
“I don’t claim to know what’s going on, or have any feelings of what’s going on, because I have no control over it. Hopefully, things get worked out. If they don’t, they don’t. If they do, that’s great. I have no control over it, so I don’t particularly worry about it.”
Mangold said he spoke to Fitzpatrick as recently as Tuesday but that they stuck to discussing family and golf.
The speculation on when or if Fitzpatrick will sign with the Jets was an ongoing topic of conversation during the team’s OTAs and minicamps. Geno Smith, who has been taking the first-team reps at QB, seemed agitated when reporters peppered him with questions about Fitzpatrick’s absence during OTAs in May. And Bowles seemed to reach his limit during the final minicamp in June, telling the media, “With all due respect, I’m through talking about Fitz.”
According to the Daily News, the Jets have submitted several offers to Fitzpatrick. Though the exact terms of the offers were not immediately known, the newspaper speculated that they would figure to fall somewhere in the neighborhood of the reported three-year, $24 million offer that Fitzpatrick has scoffed at for weeks. However, the Jets may be ready to sweeten the guaranteed money, long figured to be a sticking point in the negotiations, the report said.