Bills fear Fitzpatrick’s leverage will only increase

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As the Buffalo Bills experience a resurgence led by a quarterback who quietly came of age in 2010, the team has a dilemma.

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s contract expires after this season.  And with each passing week, his value will potentially increase.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Bills have broached the subject of extending Fitzpatrick’s contract.  No offers have been exchanged to date, however.

Quarterbacks far less proven than Fitzpatrick have scored second-tier big-money deals, including Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb and Texans quarterback Matt Schaub.  And Fitzpatrick is no flash in the pan; he has played well since inheriting the job from Trent Edwards in 2010.

Fitzpatrick told Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC’s Football Night in America that Buffalo is the best fit for Fitzpatrick.  Coach Chan Gailey agrees.

“I don’t see any other thing happening other than Ryan Fitzpatrick being our quarterback, but I’m not the negotiator,” Gailey told King.

Fitzpatrick led the Bills to a 41-7 season-opening win at Kansas City.  On Sunday, he led the Bills back from a 21-3 halftime deficit, and he threw a last-minute touchdown pass to David Nelson to erase a 35-31 deficit.

Currently earning a base salary of $3.22 million, the Bills’ only alternative to signing Fitzpatrick will be using the franchise tag or the transition tag, which would give him the average pay of the five or ten highest-paid quarterbacks, respectively, in 2012.

41 responses to “Bills fear Fitzpatrick’s leverage will only increase

  1. Too bad he can’t play against Tyvon Branch every week. He’d have MAD leverage. Branch is on every single highlight reel for the Broncos & Bills TDs this year, NOT making a play. He’s famous for making the tackle when the guy is already in the endzone.
    McClain had an awful game too.

  2. “Quarterbacks far less proven than Fitzpatrick have scored second-tier big-money deals, including Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb and Texans quarterback Matt Schaub.”

    Schaub less proven? You’re kidding, right?

    The man who led one of the premier passing offenses in the league the last 3 years?

    The man who threw for a league high 4700 yards?

    Come on man!

  3. I don’t get to watch many Buffalo games, but I think Fitz seems to be a reasonable guy, this would be a good time to try to strike a fair deal for both sides.

    Buffalo has been waiting for a consitant QB since Jim Kelly.

  4. The headline makes no sense. If Fitzpatricks level of play increases that means he’s playing well, they finally might have their first real QB since Jim Kelly.

  5. What leverage!? 2-o start against one sub .500 and one .500 team!

    Fitzpatrick or Luck? But he had a good game…seems to have really settled in. Hated to see my Raiders lose that one, but give credit where credit is due.

  6. “Fear”? “Dilemma”?

    What? The Bills look the best they have in ages, they have a good QB who’s been getting better every year, and that’s a problem? For a team with almost $27 million in salary-cap room? Sounds more like “just where we want to be” to me.

  7. When Shaub was signed to a 6-year $48 million contract after being traded from Atlanta, he WAS unproven at the time.

  8. luckynumberlucas says:
    Sep 18, 2011 7:26 PM
    “Quarterbacks far less proven than Fitzpatrick have scored second-tier big-money deals, including Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb and Texans quarterback Matt Schaub.”

    Schaub less proven? You’re kidding, right?

    The man who led one of the premier passing offenses in the league the last 3 years?

    The man who threw for a league high 4700 yards?

    Come on man!

    Actually Maybe you should “come on” Schaab got his deal right after he was traded from Atlanta to Houston.. At the time Schaab was unproven ..

  9. nomesayin says: Sep 18, 2011 7:26 PM

    Too bad he can’t play against Tyvon Branch every week.

    Branch let one go right through his hands for 6. Johnson was worse, though. Also dropped a pick in the end zone, and couldn’t cover a guy with one good stick.

    McClain had an awful game too.

    He made a couple of plays, but also saw him jogging after Bills receivers dragging across the middle, just waiting for someone else to make a tackle. Couldn’t figure out what he was saving it for.

  10. The Bills would rather lose all of their games rather than pay someone a little bit of money. Fear of leverage by the front office, that’s ridiculous! You’d think they’d be jumping with excitement instead of being fearful.

  11. I’ve got Rex Grossman. We’re 2-0, but I’ll take Fitzpatrick over this 5’8″, looks-like-he’s-12-years-old QB we got down in DC……….I say pay the man, don’t be stupid!

  12. He has looked great so far, but before I break the piggy bank, I would let him play a few more games. It might cost you a little more, but it may also save you a ton if he disintegrates.

  13. Chill out we havent had anyone worth paying in years. It’ll get done. Lets crush the Pats, then talk turkey.

  14. i always knew the guy was going to be very very good go back to his first game versus the Texans comeback mode the guy was dicing it up

  15. “Quarterbacks far less proven than Fitzpatrick have scored second-tier big-money deals, including Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb and Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. ”

    really dude..

  16. ………..calm down Bills fans.

    I know you’re excited about being 2-0 and all (believe me – I if was one of you I would be ecstatic right now), but remember your wins are against the Chiefs and the Raiders. 2 less than average teams…..

    Your absolutely right that Fitzpatrick is the best quarterback that you’ve had in a long time and he is proving that he is a clutch player. But hold off on the “just pay the guy” baloney. He has beaten the Raiders (bad) & Chiefs (really really bad).

    Lets see how he does keeping up with Tom Brady next week. Lets see how many TDs he can swap next week before he eventually becomes overwhelmed.

    If he preforms well against the Pats & and plays like he has the past two weeks – even though it will be a loss – you’ll know how he fares against a quality team.

    Then start thinking about an offer.

  17. as a bills fan im def excited to see how fitz is playing. this is his first year going in as the starter. week 1 proved the bills have the ability to blow other teams out, week 2 proved fitz’s resilience. the last drive he put together was excellent. If he keeps the this type of play up def offer him the money midway through the season. i think this is what fitz and the bills needed back to back wins to boost their confidence. i think week 3 against the pats should make for a good game

  18. Where did your source say the Bills “fear” these negotiations? Or did you just feel compelled to editorialize the headline to imply some nonexistent drama?

  19. Ralph Wilson is far too cheap to actually pay a top-tier QB top-tier money. They’ll find a way to blow this.

    Next week vs. Pats should be a good game. We’ll see how the Bills play against a real team.

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