The Miami Dolphins have spent a decade in mediocrity, a decade dealing with stories about the "dysfunction" in the franchise and things like bully scandals, interviewing coaches while still employing a coach, and coaches not going to Alabama. The Dolphins have struggled basically since Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season, including five hired and fired head coaches, three interim head coaches, nine different leading passers, six winning seasons and just three playoff appearances.
It has not been pretty for the Dolphins.
And yet, the New York Jets always seem to give us a reason to laugh.
The latest? A boycott by their top two receivers over the fact that the team cannot figure out how to re-sign their starting quarterback.
Since the Dolphins' struggles began, the Jets have made the playoffs six times, including two AFC Championship game appearances. They have had nine winning seasons. They are on head coach number five in that span, having hired Todd Bowles, one of Miami's former interim head coaches, ahead of the 2015 season. And, they have had seven different leading passers, including last year's performance by Ryan Fitzpatrick - who the team cannot get back onto the roster as the two sides are far apart on money.
Fitzpatrick reportedly wants to be paid like a starting quarterback who is coming off a year in which he led his team to a 10-6 record and broke the team's record for touchdown passes in a season, a contract that would pay him around $15 million a season. The Jets want to pay Fitzpatrick a contract that would land him somewhere around $8 million a season.
Reports this week, which seem to have been leaked by the team to show they are not lowballing Fitzpatrick as badly as previous reports indicate, have the team offering Fitzpatrick a three-year contract that would including "$12 million guaranteed in the first year." As Gang Green Nation pointed out, describing the first year of the contract does not equal the average per year amount for the contract. They write, "there is only a contradiction if we assume the $8 million figure refers to a one year deal." A $24 million, three-year contract, with $12 million guaranteed in the first year would still equal an $8 million per season average.
As if not being able to re-sign your starting quarterback, when it appears no other team is even in the chase to sign him, were not strange enough, add in the apparent boycott by Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, and it just becomes fun.
Eric Decker skipped OTAs this week because he is upset the organization has yet to sign Ryan Fitzpatrick, according to a source. #nyj— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) May 26, 2016
The New York Daily News' Manish Mehta then added Marshall into the report, writing, "if you don’t think that Marshall and Decker were sending a subtle message to the powers that be that it’s time to end this silliness with their quarterback, I have some prime swampland in Florida to sell you." Both players have been vocal this offseason that they want Fitzpatrick back
The two veteran receivers appear to be avoiding the voluntary Organized Team Activities (OTAs) because of the situation surrounding Fitzpatrick. Decker was reportedly on vacation last week, which could explain why he was not at the OTAs without it being a boycott over Fitzpatrick - but it also seems odd that a football player would schedule a vacation the same week as his team's first set of OTA practices. Could he? Absolutely. Could school for kids play a part in the timing? Of course. But, could Decker have scheduled a vacation for sometime in July, when he would not be missing OTAs? Yes.
Meanwhile, in camp, the Jets are back to Geno Smith working as the top quarterback for the team. Last year, at this time, Smith was expected to be the starter and Bowles was talking about how excited he was about what Smith could do in the team's offense. Then, in August, everything was thrown into chaos when special teams player and reserve linebacker IK Enemkpali punched Smith, breaking his jaw and ending his chance at being the starting quarterback.
In stepped Fitzpatrick and led the Jets to their best season since 2010. Now, Smith is being asked to step in for Fitzpatrick, who the Jets cannot find a way to sign to a new contract. And, Smith is being asked to do it without his top two receivers, who are boycotting the lack of Fitzpatrick.
Oh, the fun of watching the Jets.