The business side of the NFL can be a harsh pill for many to swallow, and that certainly played out this offseason when the New York Jets and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick played a giant game of chicken over his contact.

In the end, Fitzpatrick re-signed with the Jets like we all thought would happen.

However, there was one player who was left hanging in all of the drama surrounding Fitzpatrick vs. the New York Jets — that being fellow Jets quarterback Geno Smith. In fact, Smith went on the record with following the news of Fitzpatrick’s signing and let the world know he was “pissed off.”

Not in the sense you or I would be if someone just upped and took our position at work the day you started on the job. Rather, Smith is channeling the energy in to motivation to work harder and earn that starting job anyway.

“I’m not disappointed. I’m kind of pissed off. But it’s not a detrimental thing. It’s not something where I’m pissed off at anyone, because we all want to be out there. We all know that one quarterback gets to go out there on Day 1. That just adds fuel to the fire, but not in a negative way.

“I don’t want that to become like a headline or something like that, because it’s not what I’m trying to say. It’s more as a competitor, as a quarterback, knowing what I’m capable of, and really believing in myself, knowing the work that I put in over the offseason. You want to be out there. But you’ve just got to kind of play the cards that you’re dealt.”

This whole situation puts Smith in an awkward bind, as he enters his final season on his rookie deal.

On the one hand, the Jets clearly don’t believe he is their starting quarterback, or why re-sign a player that held out all offseason in the hopes of a massive payday? On the other hand, Smith has plenty of opportunity in front of him with four preseason games on the docket. It appears that Smith sees the latter as his main target — auditioning for 31 other teams if his team doesn’t want him.

“Ultimately, it’s up to the team anyway. And this is no disrespect to anyone, but I’m auditioning for this team and 31 other teams in the NFL, so the way that you handle all of this says something about yourself and your character.

“Everyone is going to watch and see how I react. I’m not going to allow this situation — because it’s not the worst situation I’ve been in — to deter me from my ultimate goal.” 

That worst situation? We’re guessing it doesn’t get much worse than getting punched in the face by a teammate, losing your season due to an injury sustained in said fight, and watching your replacement play well enough to unseat you permanently.

Smith will have four games and plenty of time in those games to showcase himself to his current team or someone else. Knowing the NFL, a solid preseason is likely to land him somewhere as the league loves to recycle projects at quarterback like it’s going out of style.

[The Score]

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a contributor to The Comeback as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10. He also is a member of the FWAA and has been covering college sports since 2011. Andy is an avid soccer fan and runs the Celtic FC site The Celtic Bhoys. If he's not writing about sports, you can find him enjoying them in front of the TV with a good beer!