The drama is finally over. The New York Jets have their quarterback back, as the team and veteran gunslinger Ryan Fitzpatrick have agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal. The two sides were at a stalemate for the entire off-season, with the Jets looking for as much bang for their buck as they could get and Fitzpatrick demanding he be treated like a high-level NFL passer.

Drama Over

Fitzpatrick and Gang Green ultimately compromised, with Fitzpatrick earning solid starter money over the next season, but giving up security that could have come with a long-term deal. Fitzpatrick opted to “bet” on himself, suggesting he believes his strong 2015 showing was no fluke, and that he could be in for similar production in 2016.

The Jets will certainly hope that is the case, as Fitzpatrick was borderline elite in his first season with the team last year, piling on a career-high 31 touchdowns and over 3,900 passing yards en route to a 10-6 finish. Fitzpatrick did flame out to close the season, however, as New York lost in week 17 with a shot at the playoffs on the line.

Repeat Production?

One reason the Jets didn’t want to invest heavily in Fitzpatrick is because of the young talent they’re grooming under center. The team drafted Bryce Petty out of Baylor last year and further invested in the position by drafting Christian Hackenberg out of Penn State in this year’s NFL Draft.

Neither quarterback is close to running a quality offense, however, so New York’s hardball seemed to be counter intuitive in the end.

Of course, even with New York’s options appearing limited, there are serious questions surrounding Fitzpatrick’s past history and whether or not he can continue to improve inside New York’s offense. He certainly won’t be without a plethora of options, as Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker thrived around him in the passing game last year, while the Jets’ ground attack arguably improved with the addition of former Chicago Bears star rusher, Matt Forte.

On paper, bringing back Fitzpatrick was the missing piece to a team that was on the brink of post-season play in 2015 and could now be ready to take the next step.

Whether or not Fitzpatrick is the guy to help them get there, of course, is highly debatable. As solid as Fitzpatrick has been during his 11-year pro career, he’s never lifted a team enough to reach the playoffs.

New York’s 2016 Odds

The Jets did the right thing by brining Fitzpatrick back – for a couple of reasons. For one, they didn’t have a better option on their roster. As mediocre as Fitzpatrick can be at times, he brings some upside to the offense that Geno Smith and New York’s two younger passers simply don’t. He knows the offense the best, Marshall and Decker rally around him and if he’d played a little better in the season finale, he could have gotten the Jets to the playoffs.

Truth be told, Fitzpatrick had arguably the best season of any Jets quarterback ever. His touchdowns went for the most in franchise history, while his passing yardage went for second best, all-time.

Stats alone won’t get the job done, but Fitzpatrick played well for much of the year and overall ran the offense very well. Because of that, there is no reason to think the Jets can’t be as good – if not better – with him back in the saddle. Vegas seems to agree, with Bovada giving the Jets decent Super Bowl odds (+5000). Those odds could even increase with Fitzpatrick back.

New York could also be in contention to snag the AFC East division title, as Tom Brady will start 2016 with a four-game ban and the Patriots could be vulnerable.

Whether the Jets make the playoffs or give the Super Bowl a go or not, they made a move they absolutely had to. Fitzpatrick is back and the Jets remain on the radar for their division title and a playoff spot. If Forte can be a big addition and the defense can be as good as it was a year ago, a deep playoff run isn’t out of the question.

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