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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.

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41 Responses to “Bills fear Fitzpatrick’s leverage will only increase”
  1. tomsd1 says: Sep 18, 2011 7:19 PM

    The Bills will probably muck it up.

  2. captainwisdom8888 says: Sep 18, 2011 7:21 PM

    Your QB is playing well and your team is getting better…that doesn’t sound like much of a dilemma.

  3. billinva says: Sep 18, 2011 7:22 PM

    They should just pay him, but it’s the Bills so they’ll nickle and dime him out of town.

  4. chowface86 says: Sep 18, 2011 7:23 PM

    I think Favre would make a good backup, great teacher for Fitzpattycake.

  5. str82dvd says: Sep 18, 2011 7:25 PM

    Ive seen enough. In the words of Teddy KGB, “He byeat me, straight up. Pay that myan his money.”

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

    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.

  7. girlsinthesouthlovefootball says: Sep 18, 2011 7:26 PM

    I’m excited for Fitz. If he isn’t the real deal, I don’t know what is.

  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!

  9. thespeaker08 says: Sep 18, 2011 7:29 PM

    It’s week 2. Slowwww downnnn

  10. umbra7 says: Sep 18, 2011 7:29 PM

    Just pay the dude. He isn’t flashy, but he is the best bet at QB. Dude is a baller…and gets it done. Passing and scrambling for yards.

  11. gibooner11 says: Sep 18, 2011 7:32 PM

    Yea, the way the new GM did with Kyle Williams and Roscoe Parrish..

  12. shaggytoodle says: Sep 18, 2011 7:33 PM

    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.

  13. nflwatcher says: Sep 18, 2011 7:34 PM

    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.

  14. tatum064 says: Sep 18, 2011 7:36 PM

    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.

  15. jaggedmark says: Sep 18, 2011 7:37 PM

    The Ivy League QB really is pretty good. Don’t screw it up Buffalo

  16. kevpft says: Sep 18, 2011 7:38 PM

    “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.

  17. downslide33 says: Sep 18, 2011 7:38 PM

    Luckynumbas…I think what they meant was when Shaub got paid the HUGE money, he was less proven at that time than Fitz is now.

  18. jhorton83 says: Sep 18, 2011 7:41 PM

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

  19. gobillss says: Sep 18, 2011 7:43 PM

    Come down, they will pay him.

  20. dalton2green says: Sep 18, 2011 7:46 PM

    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 ..

  21. dg0122 says: Sep 18, 2011 7:49 PM

    I’m not sure but I think I heard someone say that he went to Harvard

  22. raiderapologist says: Sep 18, 2011 7:49 PM

    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.

  23. brandon54235 says: Sep 18, 2011 8:14 PM

    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.

  24. blackqbwhiterb says: Sep 18, 2011 8:14 PM

    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!

  25. Keyser Söze says: Sep 18, 2011 8:18 PM

    Yup…beating the Chiefs and the Raiders will do that for you…

  26. nesuperfan says: Sep 18, 2011 8:26 PM

    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.

  27. savannahrose44 says: Sep 18, 2011 8:26 PM

    Well if the Bills don’t want to pay him I’m sure there are a number of other teams that would. Go Fitz!

  28. cmiddel says: Sep 18, 2011 8:30 PM

    Stupid organization you need to lock him up while still ceap

  29. david7590 says: Sep 18, 2011 8:40 PM

    The only team that fears success.

  30. billyhoyle4real says: Sep 18, 2011 8:52 PM

    SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!
    I’m sure it’ll be 5 or 6 years when it happens.

  31. str82dvd says: Sep 18, 2011 8:55 PM

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

  32. doe22us says: Sep 18, 2011 8:57 PM

    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

  33. billsfaninmiami says: Sep 18, 2011 8:59 PM

    The only thing the BILLS have to Fear is Beer itself!

    Onward! Upward! C’mon Brady… Upset Special coming!

  34. jimmysee says: Sep 18, 2011 9:01 PM

    This is the kind of problem teams *want* to have!

  35. themonster700 says: Sep 18, 2011 9:07 PM

    “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..

  36. pedroherce says: Sep 18, 2011 9:21 PM

    They’re really complaining about him doing good? …What’s the alternative? Fitz is the real deal, deal with it. *Sanders voice* PAY DA MAN!

  37. longlivetheguru says: Sep 18, 2011 10:51 PM

    ………..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.

  38. streethawg88 says: Sep 18, 2011 11:18 PM

    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

  39. stinkbmb says: Sep 19, 2011 5:39 AM

    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?

  40. skoobyfl says: Sep 19, 2011 8:13 AM

    “Giving them Fitz” will be the new call soon.

  41. alewatcher says: Sep 19, 2011 8:13 AM

    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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