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No deal (yet) for Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who hits open market

An update and some perspective on the Ryan Fitzpatrick situation:

First of all, relax. Just because he's hitting the open market, it doesn't mean the New York Jets are losing their starting quarterback. Sure, they would've liked to have resolved his contract situation before noon ET, when the "legal tampering" period begins. But they didn't and now Fitzpatrick can begin speaking with other teams. By rule, he can't sign with another team until 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Fitzpatrick can now gauge his value around the league, which makes sense from his perspective. He and the Jets are far apart on a new contract, the NFL Network reported, so he'd be crazy to simply accept the Jets' offer without shopping himself.

The Jets have been transparent with their desire to re-sign Fitzpatrick, but general manager Mike Maccagnan acknowledged recently the process could take time and could extend into the free-agency period. Likewise, Fitzpatrick has said he'd like to return, but it's a tricky contract because of his age (33), the team's cap restraints and the likelihood the Jets don't want a long-term commitment.

The Los Angeles Rams, Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos are looking for a starting quarterback. The Rams make the most sense for Fitzpatrick, who began his career with the team in 2005.

There's a lot of posturing taking place right now across the league. The best bet is that Fitzpatrick will return to the Jets; it just may take longer than expected.

Meanwhile, the Jets' other top free agents -- Damon Harrison, Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell -- failed to reach deals with the team, meaning they, too, are free to shop themselves.