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Geno Smith Comments on Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets Players Skipping OTAs

Published by Bleacher Report on Thu, 26 May 2016

Geno Smith knows he's not seen as the New York Jets' long-term option at quarterback. He's just looking to take advantage of the opportunity given to him thanks to Ryan Fitzpatrick's contract stalemate."Every player in the NFL, I think, deserves a fair opportunity," Smith said Wednesday, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. "Whether or not that's the case [for me], who knows' I believe I do have an opportunity here, and I just have to take advantage of it." Fitzpatrick, 33, is coming off a career season. He threw for 3,905 yards and 31 touchdowns against 15 interceptions, leading the Jets to a 10-6 record. The veteran quarterback has been hanging out on the free-agent market for months, hoping the team will improve on its current contract offer. ESPN.com's Adam Schefter reported in April the Jets are only offering between $7-8 million per seasonhalf of what Fitzpatrick desires."I'm playing," said Fitzpatrick, who indicated he would like to return to the Jets, per Cimini. "I'm playing football next year."Smith, 25, was the Jets' second-round pick in 2013. He started 29 games in his first two seasons before ceding to Fitzpatrick in 2015. The West Virginia product appeared in only one game, throwing for 265 yards and two touchdowns in a Nov. 1 loss to the Oakland Raiders.When asked whether he'd like Fitzpatrick to return this season, Smith grew "testy," according to Cimini."That's up to the front office and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Why would I speak on that'" Smith said.Cimini wrote Smith refused to take additional questions from the reporter who asked about Fitzpatrick. Smith did, however, say he did not begrudge teammates who have expressed support for Fitzpatrick or those Cimini called "three of Fitzpatrick's most outspoken supporters,"Brandon Marshall,Eric DeckerandNick Mangold,who have skipped practice two days in a row."I don't think they've said anything negative about me," Smith said. "I do understand those guys. ... We all had a wonderful year last year. I don't want to speak on anyone else's statements, but it doesn't rub me the wrong way."The Jets also drafted Penn State's Christian Hackenberg in the second round of this year's NFL draft at No. 51, but the situation here feels inevitable. Unless the Denver Broncos come barreling in at the last minute, Fitzpatrick will be the Jets' starting quarterback in 2016. He doesn't seem to have any other options, and neither do the Jets.We have enough film on Smith to know he's not a starting-caliber NFL quarterback. Hackenberg spent the last three years getting pummeled behind a terrible offensive line in State College; he's going to need seasoning if he ever wants to develop beyond his obvious arm talent. Barring a complete falling out, Fitzpatrick and the Jets will find a middle ground, and everyone will forget about this story in a couple of months. Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.
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