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Last week it came out that the Jets offered Ryan Fitzpatrick $12 million in 2016 as part of a three-year deal. Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post had this first.
And then this info seemed to be confirmed by the team to myriad beat reporters.
For months Jets GM Mike Maccagnan vowed to avoid negotiating in the media. But now it looks like the Jets are negotiating in the media. What happened?
I think they were angry at Eric Decker for skipping practice last week showing his solidarity with Fitzpatrick. Decker is represented by the same agents as Fitzpatrick. So, in my opinion, the Jets fired back at what they saw as a publicity stunt to make them look bad by “Team Sexton.”
All is fair in love, war and contract negotiations.
After Cannizarro broke the story last week, the Jets gave background to the beat writers as a courtesy. Cannizzarro isn’t a beat writer. He’s a columnist. This didn’t sit well with Manish Mehta.
“Now that the Jets have violated the sanctity of their contract negotiations with Ryan Fitzpatrick by spilling the beans to every member of the working press on this continent, the truth remains inescapable: They’re still low-balling the veteran quarterback,” wrote Mehta.
The background was given to some beat writers who reached out to the Jets after the story broke. Not all of them. The Jets didn’t spill the beans to “every member of the working press on this continent.” I know this is hyperbole, but it makes the Jets seem very reckless.
Perhaps some of you have a problem with the Jets giving this background, but it was just confirming what was already out there in Cannizzaro’s report, and it just dealing with the first year of the contract. Honestly, giving out this background wasn’t a big deal.
Perhaps Mehta was angry the Post got the original scoop, and not his paper, the New York Daily News.
The bigger question is who gave it to Cannizzaro? I suspect it came from the Jets. And I wouldn’t be shocked if you see more of this. The Jets are at their wits end with the Daily News. Aside from Mehta making their lives miserable, Gary Myers has been trashing them. What better way to get back at the Daily News then leak stuff to their chief rival. Good strategy, if you ask me.
Here is a perfect example of why the Jets are fed up with the Daily News. In the same Mehta article I quoted above, he wrote, “Jets sources, including players, now believe that Fitzpatrick is amenable to spurning them on principle and taking less money to play elsewhere. They no longer think that Fitzpatrick’s return is a fait accompli.”
Let me ask y’all a question – do you really think he has Jets sources, outside the locker room. It’s a new staff that has been there a year. This would be shocking.
You would have to be a bloody idiot, if you are on Todd Bowles staff or work under Mike Maccagnan, and you are giving him stuff, especially that hurts your position in the Fitzpatrick negotiations. You would be asking to be fired. It makes no sense that he would have Jets sources, outside the locker room, who would say, “Fitzpatrick is amenable to spurning them on principle and taking less money to play elsewhere.”
I’m not saying he didn’t talk to a player. That is possible. But more likely, it was an agent.
I’m just wary of somebody who says “Jets sources.” And a number of people are doing this now, nationally and locally. I know it’s hard enough to get one source on a story in that building, so I’m warning you, be very wary when people say “Jets sources.” It’s a major challenge to get one. Major. I know the lay of the land.
So there you have it.
In closing, I think the Jets were firing back at Jimmy Sexton for Eric Decker’s stunt, so I think they leaked some info to Cannizzaro and then confirmed it to the beat writers.
That is what I glean from the situation.
May 31, 2016
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