A false narrative Dan Leberfeld

New Jersey – A lot was written the last couple days about the two college quarterbacks the Jets will have in for visits in Florham Park . . .

We are talking about Memphis signal-caller Paxton Lynch and Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg.

I saw this headline on a website – “With Ryan Fitzpatrick in limbo, Jets meet with 2 QBs in draft.”

That is very misleading, and paints a little bit of an inaccurate picture.

The Jets aren’t bringing these guys in because of the Fitzpatrick contract dispute.

They are bringing them in because that is what you do before the draft – you bring 30 prospects to your facility.

Too often reporters jump to conclusions based on attendance at college workouts, or who you bring in to you facility before the draft.

This stuff is so overrated.

I always go back to the anecdote that when the Jets picked James Farrior in the first round of the 1997 draft, he said he had zero contract with them before they picked him.

This is a poker game.

Do you think that teams make it this clear, where they make it patently obvious, based on attendance at workouts, or visits to their complex, who they are going to pick?

Of course not.

I’m not saying they don’t pick players they work out, but I think too often reporters take quantum leaps based on this stuff.

And like I said Fitzpatrick’s contract imbroglio isn’t related to these two visits.

Do you really think if the Jets pick one of these guys, they are going to replace Fitzpatrick in 2016 as the Jets starter?

Neither is ready to start this year. They both need a lot of work. Lynch needs to learn how to play under center. Hackenberg is coming off two rough seasons, and needs to get his mojo back.

So even if the Jets don’t re-sign Fitzpatrick, they aren’t going to go with Lynch of Hackenberg in 2016, a must-win year. They have very high ticket prices, and have missed the playoffs five years in a row.

They need to win this year.

Ryan Fitzpatrick gives them the best chance to win in 2016.

Bryce Petty’s not ready, and Geno Smith is in a very bad spot in this tough market right now. So much of the fan base and press has turned on him. The well has been poisoned. I just don’t see him being the guy this year. I think he needs a change of scenery.

So if the Jets don’t bring Fitzpatrick back, which I think they will, they will probably go out and get a Brian Hoyer or Mike Glennon-type.

Once again, I do think Fitz will be back, though this could take a while.

But these visits aren’t connected to Fitz in terms of looking for a backup plan this year.

Now, they could be connected to Fitz in a different way.

They might feel they need another quarterback of the future in the mix, to vie with Bryce Petty for this spot, perhaps in a year or two.

But the narrative, “With Ryan Fitzpatrick in limbo, Jets meet with 2 QBs in draft,” is a false one.

April 1, 2016

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