As the Bills continue to struggle and as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to play like something other than the guy to whom they paid all that money in 2011, an obvious question is percolating.
Is Fitzpatrick the answer?
“We’re just fine there,” coach Chan Gailey said after Sunday’s 45-3 loss to the 49ers regarding the quarterback position, via Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. “Don’t go with an issue on that. That’s not an issue.”
It could be, eventually. Fitzpatrick is owed a $3 million roster bonus on the second day of the league year, along with a $4.25 million base salary. Though $7.25 million isn’t much to pay to a starting quarterback these days, they could pay a lot less to a first-round or second-round rookie who could then come in and start right away, like five other rookies have done this season — and each of them has at times looked very good.
If very-soon-to-be-94-year-old owner Ralph Wilson decides that another retooling is necessary, and if coach Chan Gailey loses his job because of it, all bets will be off when the times comes to ante up another $3 million for Fitzpatrick.
Every coach wants his own quarterback, and if there’s a new coach in Buffalo come 2013, he’ll likely want his own guy under center. Which means that Fitzpatrick could be hitting the market on or before the second full day of free agency.