The NFL regular season saw some quarterback dramas. The New York Jets, which started off the football season with Geno Smith as its leader, now eye a new starting quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who came in the New York Jets as a backup, had been nursing a broken leg earlier in the season. When Smith, later on, became indisposed, fans of the NFL team were shocked by the performance of the backup quarterback. Moreover, his leadership and the respect he gained from the locker easily eased out Smith from the top dog role.
While details have yet to be ironed out and officially declared, the New York Jets have been quite vocal about their desire to keep Fitzpatrick. In an interview with ESPN, Todd Bowles affirmed that re-signing the pending free agent is essential for the football squad. The New York Jets head coach shared that Fitzpatrick's return with the team is of a "pretty high priority."
"He's the quarterback," said Bowled of Fitzpatrick. The head coach added, "He had a great year for us. We want him back. If he comes back, he'll be the starter." According to Bowles, the failure of the New York Jets to get in the playoffs will not affect the future of Fitzpatrick in the squad. He added that the devastating 22-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills will not "tarnish" the quarterback's importance to the group.
For his part, Fitzpatrick is also optimistic about his chances of coming back as the starting quarterback for the New York Jets. At the moment, the NFL star is a pending free agent as he is in his final year with the team. This season saw Fitzpatrick earn $3.25 million.
He said, "I hope so. I don't want to live with hypotheticals, but I had a lot of fun this year. It's the most fun I've ever had in a season, with the guys in this locker room and the run we had in December. Hopefully, I can be back and can continue to build on that." Fitzpatrick added, "This is obviously a place I want to be, a place I'm comfortable with, but we'll see how everything goes."
Meanwhile, Smith refuses to back down from the challenge. The former starting quarterback of the New York Jets is adamant on his claim that he can still regain his lost spot. Smith shares that he intends to work "10 times harder" in the next NFL season.
Smith said via the New York Post, "I'm extremely competitive. I was put in a tough situation this year. I think I did my best to handle it in the best way possible. Being that I didn't play, it's probably the first time that I haven't played since I was about 8 years old.'' He added, "I'm not going to change the way I go about things, because I've always worked hard, and I've always had the right mindset. I'm going to continue to do that, but work 10 times harder because I have 10 times more motivation."
The same situation is currently in the hands of the Denver Broncos with NFL MVP Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. The perceived nemesis of New England Patriots' Tom Brady saw himself battling it out with the younger quarterback when he finally recovered from his injuries. Blaine Gabbert of the San Francisco 49ers also displaced Colin Kaepernick, pushing the latter to face an uncertain future with the football team.