Ryan Fitzpatrick may not have been at the Jets’ practice facility Monday, but he was very much on the minds of wide receivers Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall.
“Brandon and I were joking around sending him a video, saying we’ll keep you informed,” Decker said on a conference call after the first day of voluntary workouts.
“ . . . We were watching tape of last year and self-scouting ourselves throughout this phase and just kind of talking about what we can do better, what we need to correct. And Brandon and I were just kind of messing with him, sending him a video that we’re going to work on these things, intriguing him to come back, obviously, so we can again work together in the same building.”
NFL.com reported Monday morning that “barring a significant breakthrough,” the Jets are not expected to reach a deal with free agent Fitzpatrick before the draft (April 28-30). But his former teammates are hoping for a quick resolution that has him back under center in a Jets uniform in 2016.
“Hopefully, he’ll be back,” linebacker David Harris said.
The Jets, who finished 10-6, one win shy of the playoffs, have former starter Geno Smith and Bryce Petty as options at quarterback. With the contract standoff with Fitzpatrick’s camp entering Week 6, the Jets are exploring all options.
According to a source, they’re interested in former Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer, who reportedly was informed of his release during the weekend.
A source also confirmed that the Jets, who hosted quarterback prospects Paxton Lynch (Memphis), Jared Goff (California) and Christian Hackenberg (Penn State) in recent weeks, had discussions with the Titans about moving up to No. 1 in the draft. But the Titans dealt the top pick to the Rams last week.
Among current players, the consensus appears to be that the Jets need to re-sign their 2015 starter.
“I love Fitzpatrick,’’ Decker said, “ . . . and would love to get to work with him if he’s going to be the quarterback of this team.”
But Decker added: “It’s out of everyone’s control in this locker room. We’ve got to focus on being the best that we can be and hope that this will get resolved at some point so we can again focus on football and not the what-ifs.”
Wilkerson a no-show. According to sources, defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson was not at the facility Monday and is not expected to attend voluntary workouts. The Jets expected Wilkerson’s absence because of his leg injury and stalled contract talks.
The Jets placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Wilkerson in March but he has not signed the tender, worth roughly $15.7 million. Wilkerson, who is rehabbing a broken right fibula, also skipped voluntary workouts and organized team activities last year because of stalled contract talks. He returned on the first day of mandatory minicamp.