Todd Bowles: Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets’ starting QB

“I would much rather pass up on some of that guaranteed money … and bet on myself and just see what happens,” he said.

On Thursday, Fitzpatrick was back on the field with teammates. Reporters noted during practice that Fitzpatrick got the majority of first-team reps, but shared part of the duty with Smith.

Bowles brushed aside the idea that Smith’s roster spot is in jeopardy. The coach added that Smith is entrenched as the backup. With rookie Christian Hackenberg in house, second-year player Bryce Petty could be the odd man out, barring injury or New York electing to keep four quarterbacks.

“Geno’s here at No. 2 right now unless Bryce and Hack have some great gain, if they come along like gangbusters,” Bowles said. “No. 2 right now, it’s open. If Fitz has some setbacks … something else. Geno’s one, I mean Fitz is one, Geno’s two, Bryce is three, Hack is four.”

With Fitzpatrick’s return, the Jets hope a prolific passing offense with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker continues to flourish in Year 2 under Chan Gailey. Now Fitzpatrick must prove he was worth the offseason consternation for Jets fans and the $12 million price tag paid to a career journeyman.

“I have something to prove every year,” Fitzpatrick said.

Geno Smith, a loyal employee of the New York Jets tired of watching the club desperately hire out for the promotion he’s always wanted on a permanent basis, is going to start looking around for new places to work.

“It’s no disrespect to anyone, but I’m auditioning for this team and 31 other teams in the NFL,” Smith said Thursday, via ESPN.com. “The way you handle all of this says a lot about your character. I’ve got little kids back home (in South Florida) seeing how I react. Everyone will watch to 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.”

Smith, who is just 26 and has only 29 starts under his belt, has handled this entire year-long fiasco relatively well all things considered. He probably needed a change of scenery the minute he slid to the Jets in the 2013 NFL Draft amid rumors of an aloof and disrespectful disposition, but finished his first year as a starter 8-8 anyway before then-general manager John Idzik systematically dismantled the team.

Aaron Rodgers’ lovestruck brother is a contestant on ‘The Bachelorette’

The good news for Jordan is that the show will be giving him a chance to show off in front of JoJo.

At some point this season, there’s going to be a group date that takes place at Heinz Field and involves Ben Roethlisberger. If throwing the football is involved, then Jordan will probably have a slight advantage over the rest of the contestants.

Bills announce shoulder surgery for first-round pick Shaq Lawson

The Buffalo Bills announced on Monday that their first-round pick, Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson, will have “preemptive shoulder surgery” on Tuesday.

“The Buffalo Bills are taking measures to prevent the possibility of Shaq Lawson aggravating a pre-existing shoulder condition during the season,” the team said in a statement on its official website. “While he could continue to play, the Bills medical staff has determined that surgery is the best course of action for the overall health of his shoulder moving forward. He had an occurrence of the condition last week, but that would not preclude him from participating in the offseason program. Shaq is scheduled for surgery tomorrow on his shoulder with a rehabilitation program to follow. A timetable for his return is still being established.

“I want to take this opportunity to commend Shaq Lawson and his representatives for putting the team first by having this surgery on his shoulder done now. By doing so, he’s forsaking personal goals to be 100 percent healthy when we will need him most during the regular season. Fans constantly hear us say that we want players with tremendous character who keep team goals ahead of personal ones and Shaq is a great example of this,” general manager Doug Whaley added.

The Bills had previously insisted that Lawson’s shoulder was fine and was given approval by the team’s medical staff.

In the wake of the surgery’s announcement, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that multiple teams believed Lawson could need 4-6 months to recover (as he had reported soon after Lawson was first drafted by the Bills), while NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Lawson could begin the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Doing so would ensure that Lawson could not play until at least eight weeks into the season.

There will be no shortage of storylines when the Rams are featured on Hard Knocksthis August; this offseason the team relocated to Los Angeles, and traded up to the No. 1 spot to draft franchise quarterback Jared Goff.

So interest will be keen and expectations will be high — but the hope is that neither will be a distraction for an outfit that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2004, when Mike Martz was the coach, Marc Bulger was the quarterback, and the Greatest Show on Turf was still a thing.

“We want this to be the best show to date,” coach Jeff Fisher said, via the Los Angeles Times’ Sam Farmer. “We want to pave the way for the member clubs to line up for the opportunity to do this … The players are familiar, they understand what’s ahead, we’ve talked to the coaches and they’re excited.”

Eventually, Gronkowski will need to adjust to life after Brady, who’ll turn 39 in August (even if Brady insists he’ll play until 2025). By the sound of it, Gronk’s just hoping he won’t need to transition to a post-Brady world this fall.

Despite Gronk’s optimism, Brady’s path to revoke his suspension remains rocky. At the end of last month, his suspension was reinstated by the Second Circuit United States Court of Appeals, meaning Brady is scheduled to miss games against the Cardinals,Dolphins, Texans and Bills. Brady and his legal team will now be given until May 23 to decide if they want to ask the court to rehear the case. If that fails, the case could end up in the Supreme Court.

Reminder: This entire controversy is about deflated footballs that were used in a 45-7 victory well over a year ago.

NFL great Steve Young talks football and markets

Former 49ers NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback Steve Young says Colin Kaepernick will likely not be the 49ers’ starting quarterback when NFL season starts this September.

Speaking to CNBC from the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, the three-time Super Bowl–winning quarterback gave his thoughts on his former team, Deflategate and the markets.

When sizing up the battle for his former team’s top spot, Young says he expects Blaine Gabbert to start the season, but doesn’t count Colin Kaepernick out just yet.

“Colin’s gotta reclaim his position,” he says. “A lot of that is the emotional thing with the locker room. I think he lost a lot of guys last year.”

The legendary quarterback says Kaepernick needs to come out with an attitude that he made a lot of mistakes but he’s going to fix it.

The fund has $2.4 billion in assets under management and has returns on investments that would rival the top quartile of private equity firms.

With markets at record highs, Young says maybe there’s a correction coming but maybe not a huge one, and nothing’s cheap. However, Young says the private equity company just bid on a company last week.

“We’re not value buyers either,” he said. Young says we’re seeing such high multiples because investors are so desperate for finding growth.

When it comes to his business career, Young says it’s so different from his NFL days, but he’s still having fun.

“They’re different. Third and 10 down by four at Lambeau Field in the drizzling rain … two minutes left. There’s nothing like that.”

This has not been the best year for Jones and his two younger brothers, UFC fighter Jon Jones and Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones. In January, Chandler, then with the New England Patriots, went to the police department in Foxboro, Mass. shirtless and disoriented and seeking help. The Boston Globe reported that Jones had used synthetic marijuana.

Earlier this month, Jon was pulled from his bout at UFC 200 after testing positive for PEDs, the latest in a string of problems for the man who was once considered MMA’s biggest star. Jones maintained his innocence in the most recent scandal, saying he did not knowingly take a banned substance.

Colin Kaepernick is back following three surgeries and last season’s benching, determined and ready to prove himself as a starting quarterback again. Blaine Gabbert insists he is prepared to keep the San Francisco job going into this season.

Chip Kelly’s first training camp as new 49ers coach will likely be defined by an intense quarterback competition – not to mention fierce fights for spots at several other key positions, such as wide receiver, cornerback and on the defensive line.

After months of speculation that Kaepernick would be traded, and a high-profile meeting with Broncos general manager John Elway, the mobile, strong-armed QB is staying put after all.