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How a really bad Jets conspiracy theory got started

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Are Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall holding out to protest the Jets not signing Ryan Fitzpatrick? No, they're not. But don't let that get in the way of a perfectly good rumor!

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The New York Jets have tied up the drawstring waistbands on their shorts and hit the field for some OTAs this week. But there are a few people missing, a few of the team's veteran stars and a noted Jets conspiracy theorist at a NYC tabloid sees something bigger than the annual spring rite of vets skipping 7-on-7 drills.

You see, the Jets and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick still haven't agreed to a deal. Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall, the Jets' top two receivers, are not at OTAs this week, ergo they're clearly holding out to protest the Jets not signing Fitzpatrick.

Except they probably aren't.

Someone from Marshall's camp said that he was not skipping OTAs to protest the Fitzpatrick situation. Decker hasn't given an indication one way or another, but his wife posted a photo of them on vacation this week. But the story's out there. It's on PFT this morning, and you can't miss the hot takes on your timeline about it. So how did this "protest" get started?

It's out there because of intrepid reporting from the Daily News' Manish Mehta.

"... but if you don't think that Marshall and Decker were sending a subtle message to the powers that be ..."

One paragraph after that:

"I can't believe that two of Fitzpatrick's biggest supporters with incredible work ethic just decided to sit out the first two OTA sessions."

Jets coach Todd Bowles said that the veteran receivers' absence had nothing to do with Fitzpatrick. But you can't take his word for it, right? There's also Marshall denying it. And originally, Nick Mangold was lumped into the protest, but his wife had a baby this week.

And that's how a Jets conspiracy gets started.

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