By Glenn Naughton
The New York Jets have agreed to a trade with the Houston Texans to acquire quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in exchange for a late round conditional draft pick. The ten-year veteran was made available by the Texans following their addition of quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett.
Since naming Chan Gailey offensive coordinator in January, he and Fitzpatrick were linked almost immediately due to their history. Gailey was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills when Fitzpatrick strung together three of his best seasons as a pro from 2010-2012. With Gailey calling the shots in Buffalo, the former seventh round pick threw 71 touchdowns to go along with 54 interceptions while completing 60% of his passes.
Fitzpatrick offers a significant upgrade over incumbent Geno Smith, who in two NFL seasons has thrown 25 touchdowns and 34 interceptions while completing just 57.5% of his passes.
In his last five seasons as a starter, Fitzpatrick has completed at least 60% of his attempts in four of those while totaling 102 touchdown passes to 74 interceptions. The veteran touchdown totals have always outnumbering his interceptions during that time, something Jets quarterbacks have managed to do just three times over the past seven seasons.
Given his superior performance and history with Gailey, one would expect Fitzpatrick to be ahead of Smith on the depth chart come opening day but that remains to be seen.
The acquisition of Fitzpatrick is the latest in a flurry of moves by the Jets as they continue to make significant strides toward playoff contention just one year after a disastrous 4-12 campaign.