We’ve heard this line before: The Jets bring in a veteran quarterback to provide competition for Geno Smith. But this time the narrative could be different.
Last year, it was the signing of Michael Vick that drew attention. He and Geno Smith were supposed to go head-to-head during training camp in what was promoted to be a battle of epic proportions. After all the talk, the competition that was, never was. Rex Ryan and Co. only gave Vick a token chance to take away the job from Smith.
After a second season that read much like his first season, a roller-coaster of extreme lows, a few rises, another dip in the form of a benching, then ending at the peak by posting a perfect QB rating in the last game of the year, Smith is in the same position he was a year ago at this time.
This time, there is a new regime in place at the top under new head coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan, and they could want a fresh start.
Texans are trading QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to the New York Jets for a late-round conditional draft pick, per a league source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2015
Fitzpatrick brings a younger veteran presence than Vick last season. In his only season with the Texans in 2014, Fitzpatrick–a Harvard grad–posted a QB rating of 95.3 and had 2,483 yards passing with 17 TDs and eight interceptions.
By comparison, Smith had 2,525 yards through the air, a 77.5 rating, 13 TDs and 13 INTs.
Fitzpatrick was the odd man out in Houston with the re-signing of Ryan Mallett and the free-agent acquisition of Brian Hoyer. Fitzpatrick was benched after nine games in favor of Mallett. In with Jets, Fitzpatrick is reunited with offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.
So, when the Jets get together for their first practices this spring, Smith will have an advantage in being familiar with the backs and receivers (with the exception of Brandon Marshall), but Fitzpatrick will hold an advantage of his own by being familiar with the new offense.
We’ll follow this storyline over the following months.