As the Bills surged early in the season, the front office struggled to properly gauge the value of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was in the final year of his contract. Eventually, during the bye week, the two sides hammered out a six-year, $59 million deal, with $24 million guaranteed.
Though I remain a staunch believer in Fitzpatrick, the last two weeks surely would have taken a chunk out of his leverage.
Against the Jets in Week Nine, Fitzpatrick completed fewer than half of his passes. One touchdown against two picks gave him a passer rating of 51.9. On Sunday against the Cowboys, it was even worse. Though the completion percentage was on the right side of 60, the passer rating was on the wrong side of 50, thanks to three picks and a paltry 4.7 yards per attempt.
The Bills meanwhile have sunk to 5-4, and the empty bandwagons are now circling in a vacant lot, where not even Chris Berman is paying attention. Though they’re still in the mix for the postseason, the team is giving off the same vibe it did in 2008, when a 4-0 start became 7-9 for the season.
It doesn’t mean that signing Fitzpatrick was a mistake. But it means that he’d have less leverage now than he did earlier in the year, if he hadn’t signed on the dotted line.
He would have had even less if the Bills can’t turn this thing around soon.