WRs Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall return to Jets practice

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Wednesday, June 1, 2016

New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker, who caused a stir last week by skipping all three team practices, reportedly as a show of solidarity for unsigned quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, returned to practice Tuesday morning, a league source said.

Fellow receiver Brandon Marshall, another no-show last week, was also back with the team. It's unclear whether his absence was related to the Fitzpatrick situation. Both players have been outspoken in their support of Fitzpatrick.

Tuesday's practice was closed to the media, which will be allowed to attend on Wednesday.

The practices are voluntary, but the Marshall-Decker absence cast a bright light on the Fitzpatrick drama, which has been going on for four months.

The offer on the table for Fitzpatrick is for three years, $24 million, including a total payout of $12 million in the first year, according to sources. The $8 million average per year ranks 21st among quarterbacks, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The proposal includes more than $15 million in guarantees, the NFL Network reported.

Fitzpatrick, who made $3.25 million last season, is balking because the compensation drops significantly in 2017 and 2018. He'd make $6 million in each year, sources said.

The Jets see him as a bridge quarterback, as they're hoping that rookie Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty can win the starting job next year. Hackenberg was drafted in the second round, and Petty, a fourth-round pick in 2015, didn't play a single snap as a rookie.

The Jets have made it clear they want Fitzpatrick to be their starter for the upcoming season. Just recently he said he'd like to re-sign with the Jets, who are believed to be his only suitor.

In the meantime, Geno Smith is working as the starter in practice. He hasn't started a game since December 2014. He lost his job to Fitzpatrick last August when his jaw was broken by a teammate's punch in a locker-room altercation.

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