I would not wish contract drama on anybody, says relieved Fitzpatrick


Ryan Fitzpatrick says he would not wish his offseason contract drama on any other player after finally signing a new deal with the New York Jets.

After protracted negotiations which have gone on since the end of last season, the quarterback finally agreed terms on a new one-year agreement, which NFL.com report will guarantee him $12million, with a further $3m available in incentives.

The 33-year-old enjoyed the best season of his career in 2015, throwing 31 touchdowns and 15 interceptions as his side went 10-6 to narrowly miss out on the playoffs and he now wants to make up for lost time ahead of the 2016 campaign.

"Oh my gosh - it's been a long six months for sure," Fitzpatrick told the New York Daily News.

"The biggest feeling was relief. Just relief to have it over and done with and then when I was driving in and walking up to the team meeting, it was like the first day of school. 

"I was just all excited to see everybody and to be back in the building because through the entire offseason program, I wasn't allowed to be there. It was such a weird feeling. I was 10 minutes away just sitting at home getting calls and texts every day. 

"After every practice, talking with the guys and not being allowed in the building to participate and compete with them. That made it an awfully long offseason for me. Now I'm ready to get to work.

"This whole process has been so long and hard and something I wouldn't wish upon anybody, but if there's a silver lining in it, at least for me, it's the respect and support that those guys showed for me throughout the process. It was huge and that's why you play the game."

Fitzpatrick always had an expectation that an agreement would be reached, despite the twists and turns of the negotiations played out in the media.

He added: "I thought that it would always get done. Unfortunately, we had to go through that long process to get to the end result. But I didn't have any doubts that at some point it would work itself out.

"The two words that [general manager] Mike Maccagnan has used are fair and reasonable. I wanted something that was fair and reasonable. I think this worked out for both parties."