Brandon Marshall, one of the primary beneficiaries of Fitzpatrick's impressive 2015 campaign, doesn't seem eager to contemplate life in New York without the free-agent quarterback under center. Speaking on "The Rich Eisen Show" on Friday, the six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver expressed concern over the Jets not re-signing Fitzpatrick.
"That's the toughest thing for me when I think about him potentially putting on another jersey," Marshall said. "What we had and what we have is hard to create. It took us almost a year to do that -- well, six months to do that. Most of the time, it takes guys a couple of years. We feel like we're really close. We have a great defense. We have a consistent offense. We have great coaches. All we need to do now is continue to get more reps with the same guys."
Fitzpatrick's camp and the Jets remain far apart on contract talks, sources told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport this week. A source told NFL Media's Albert Breer the Jets have offered a little more than the three-year, $21 million contract Chase Daniel received from the Philadelphia Eagles. The current going rate for a starting quarterback, as exemplified by Sam Bradford's two-year deal, is about $18 million per season.
Adding more murkiness to Fitzpatrick's future is the ongoing potential trade saga involving Colin Kaepernick. Following Brock Osweiler's defection to the Houston Texans on Wednesday, the Broncos entered into trade negotiations with the 49ers for Kaepernick. If the Broncos fail to acquire Kaepernick, they likely would focus on trying to sign Fitzpatrick. A source told NFL Media columnist Michael Silver on Friday the Broncos have been in touch with Fitzpatrick's agent. In addition, ex-Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III visited the Jets on Friday, a source told Rapoport.
Therefore, it seems likely that a decision on where Fitzpatrick will be playing in 2016 will not come until after the 49ers decide on what they want to do with Kaepernick. In the meantime, Marshall can only hope "Fitzmagic" makes a Broadway encore.
"The way we communicate, the way we practice together, the way we bring other guys together, I've never seen that anywhere else," Marshall said, "and I've been a lot of places and I've had a lot of quarterbacks."