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Bills, Fitzpatrick inch toward $3 million decision

RyanFitz Getty Images

It remains unclear if the Bills will cut quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick before he earns a $3 million roster bonus.

The “when” is clear.  With a $3 million roster bonus due on the second day of the league year, the Bills have to decide whether to pay the money and keep him, or to avoid the payment by cutting him.

Option three would consist of a renegotiation that entails less money being paid to Fitzpatrick in 2013 and/or beyond.

The team’s plan remains unclear.  With Tarvaris Jackson under contract, the Bills have a fallback option, in the event they cut Fitzpatrick and don’t find anyone else.  (Then again, that fallback plan could cause the Bills to fall back to 3-13.)

Fitzpatrick also is due to earn a base salary of $4.25 million in 2013, along with a $200,000 workout bonus.

If the Bills cut him before Tuesday, they’ll carry $10 million in dead money.  If they cut him on Tuesday after 4:00 p.m. ET with a post-June 1 designation, his cap hit would drop to $3 million this year and $7 million in 2014.

Either way, the Bills would save $7.45 million in cash by moving on.

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45 Responses to “Bills, Fitzpatrick inch toward $3 million decision”
  1. ravenmuscle says: Mar 10, 2013 9:07 PM

    Nobody really cares what the Toronto…errr Buffalo Bills do. All they do is lose and watch the Patriots RULE the division year after year. As long as Brady stays healthy the Jets, Phish, and Bills are just punching bags for the Pats.

  2. buffalobills2012 says: Mar 10, 2013 9:10 PM

    The fact that this decsion has yet to be made shows the ineptness of the mangement of the Bills. But these are the same guys who gave 8 mil to merriman, and overpaid for Mario Williams and drafted Terrel Troupe 1 pick before gronkowski and took Aaron Williams one pick before kapernick…..Sad to drag fans thru the mud.

  3. buffalowned says: Mar 10, 2013 9:10 PM

    They are making it pretty hard for even the most optimistic fans to be optimistic. Cut him and move on. We can’t endure another season with fitz as our starter

  4. mikemitchy says: Mar 10, 2013 9:12 PM

    He may be a below-average *starting* quarterback, but Fitzpatrick is considerably better than what’s available in free agency. The Bills would be wise to find a way to keep him.

    If he’s cut, expect Arizona, Jacksonville, Minnesota and the Jets to all consider bringing him in as serious competition. Being a below-average starting QB is still a step up from Ponder, Sanchez, etc.

  5. billsboy88 says: Mar 10, 2013 9:12 PM

    “The team’s plan remains unclear.”

    As a life-long fan, that sentence pretty much embodies every year for the Bills.

  6. SparkyGump says: Mar 10, 2013 9:13 PM

    They should have pursued Alex Smith.

  7. stubbyjones says: Mar 10, 2013 9:14 PM

    As much as I don’t like it…they need Fitz as a stop gap until the rookie that they will draft it ready…they will redo his contract.

  8. 315judman says: Mar 10, 2013 9:18 PM

    Fitz is the quintessential Buffalo Bill. That is a problem for both parties.

  9. talkingproud says: Mar 10, 2013 9:23 PM

    Please just get a franchise QB in place and hit the bricks, Buddy!

    It’s time to give full control to Doug Whaley and see what sort of team he can field.

  10. doe22us says: Mar 10, 2013 9:23 PM

    Ha, have people seen what is out there FA and the draft trust me, Fitzpatrick is streets ahead of all these options.

  11. uwsptke says: Mar 10, 2013 9:26 PM

    I might be in the minority, but stinking on ice in 2013 for the right to draft Jadaveon Clowney isn’t the worst plan in the world.

  12. nfl4days says: Mar 10, 2013 9:27 PM

    Fitzpatrick will never get the job done. He wont even make the playoffs. The bills are that team who also does bad enough to not make the playoffs, but just good enough to not be able to draft a franchise changer, and the management never finds the hidden gems like Kaepernick or Russell Wilson.

  13. stolendog23 says: Mar 10, 2013 9:28 PM

    They are going to keep Fitz. All this garbage about “will they cut him”, “they are racing to a deadline” is all manufactured intruige. With a 10 million dollar cap hit, and the bums out there in free agency, it makes financial sense to keep him. If you cut him and sign some stiff like Matt Moore, you take a 10mil hit on the cap and you still have to pay Moore. Do you really think they are better off with a Moore type guy? This team needs cap space to fill multiple holes. Wasting money on a mediocre QB signing when you already have two on the roster makes zero sense. Draft a kid in the 2nd or 3rd round and hope to God he’s Russel Wilson.

  14. stolendog23 says: Mar 10, 2013 9:29 PM

    They are going to keep Fitz. All this garbage about “will they cut him”, “they are racing to a deadline” is all manufactured intruige. With a 10 million dollar cap hit, and the bums out there in free agency, it makes financial sense to keep him. If you cut him and sign some stiff like Matt Moore, you take a 10mil hit on the cap and you still have to pay Moore. Do you really think they are better off with a Moore type guy? This team needs cap space to fill multiple holes. Wasting money on a mediocre QB signing when you already have two on the roster makes zero sense. Draft a kid in the 2nd or 3rd round and hope to God he’s Russell Wilson.

  15. houstonbillsbacker says: Mar 10, 2013 9:31 PM

    Having him on the roster until Tuesday after 4PM may not be such a bad idea. As the article said, only 3 mil against the cap this year and 7 mil next year instead of all 10 mil in 2013. More money to sign free agents. And they need as much money as possible to fill those holes at WR, LB, G, and QB(just draft a guy).

  16. stubbyjones says: Mar 10, 2013 9:35 PM

    As much as I don’t like it…they need Fitz as a stop gap until the rookie that they will draft is
    ready…they will redo his contract.

  17. don4593 says: Mar 10, 2013 9:37 PM

    There is no way Mr. Noodle arm will be with Buffalo. The only reason this guy got his contract was because Gailey was able to mask some of his deficiencies. This guy was incapable of passing on 8 man fronts, I don’t know he is still on this roster.

  18. skoobyfl says: Mar 10, 2013 9:49 PM

    Trade him for another late-round pick to replace the T. Jackson acquisition from last season.

  19. nomoreseasontix says: Mar 10, 2013 9:50 PM

    Hmm… If they move on, don’t they need a QB to move on with?
    Jackson? Nah…

  20. billsfan says: Mar 10, 2013 9:50 PM

    Fitz is the poster child for the Bills. Qualified as NFL, but, cannot win in it.
    Cut the chord and go in another direction…there’s no other direction but “up”…as long as Fitz isn’t holding the compass.

  21. annes22 says: Mar 10, 2013 9:53 PM

    Matt Moore has re signed with the Dolphins. By the way he isn’t a stiff, and could have got a starting job in the NFL. He has to be the best back up in the league today, and now he stays with the Dolphins.
    Fitzpatrick has been horrible since he got his enormous contract. Good luck keeping him.

  22. mccannagm says: Mar 10, 2013 10:14 PM

    It’s dead money, they will be nearly 30 million under one year from now. Find the RIGHT QB and lets move forward. We have seen the Fitz show already. Trade down from 8 if Geno is gone. Pick up a LB, QB and TE with the first 2 rounds.

  23. clutchbills says: Mar 10, 2013 10:17 PM

    They may keep Fitz, but will ask him to restructure. They got in way over their heads when they signed him to that large extension. The fact that he knows the offense means nothing now with the new coaching staff but they need good competition in camp and Fitz is a good backup QB. It’s time to draft our franchise QB.

  24. kenny131 says: Mar 10, 2013 10:19 PM

    To stolendog23: Matt Moore is leaps and bounds ahead of Fitzpatrick, had he hit the open market he could of been a starter for more than a few teams in the league. But the Fins made a fine move by keeping him in house. I do agree with you however that it makes sense for them to keep him in a year where there isn’t much excitement about any of the available qb’s in the draft or free agency.

  25. osiris33 says: Mar 10, 2013 10:26 PM

    “Tarvaris Jackson is the fallback option?” What a joke. Worst QB I’VE EVER SEEN. and I mean that, Mark Malone

  26. joshhatesthesteelers says: Mar 10, 2013 10:30 PM

    The Bengals were smart to not resign this guy

  27. applecool1981 says: Mar 10, 2013 10:32 PM

    stubbyjones says:
    Mar 10, 2013 9:14 PM
    “As much as I don’t like it…they need Fitz as a stop gap until the rookie that they will draft it ready…they will redo his contract.”

    Jackson is that stopgap, who at worst is just as horrible is Fitz. There’s a reason they signed him to a contract at 2 million a year for the next two years. The only reason he remained third on the depth chart last year was because he joined the team during the preseason and Chan Gailey was their coach.

  28. majbobby says: Mar 10, 2013 10:44 PM

    People that post kill me.

    Either fans that do not understand it makes more sense to spread the cap hit hence waiting until Tuesday.

    Two they are your prototypical Patriot Homers that we now where to be found until their team started doing something. And will go away once they become bad again.

  29. jimjames2 says: Mar 10, 2013 11:03 PM

    Everyone keeps saying get rid of him cut him. What are the options? Let’s cut him. Then what? I guess Jackson does have knowledge of the west coast offense but do you think we will win more than six? Have you seen who we play this year? We are lucky to win 3 games. This whole Levitre business is really ridiculous. We have too many holes to fill again. We are stuck with fitzpatrick this year under a new contract hopefully. There is no one out there or willing to play for us.

  30. duluthvikesfan says: Mar 10, 2013 11:03 PM

    As a Vikings fan who suffered the pain of the Tarvaris Jackson days, all I can say is if your team is trying to decide between the current starter and Jackson your team is already tossing in the towel on this season!

  31. sclazo says: Mar 10, 2013 11:30 PM

    Trade you Moore for a 2nd rounder =D

  32. 90210g says: Mar 11, 2013 12:02 AM

    Bills should trade up to get Gino! He is an upgrade to Fitz, Fitz is a CFL QB at best!

  33. 90210g says: Mar 11, 2013 12:10 AM

    Gino Smith will make a huge impact on the Bills O. Rumor has it that the Cardinals are high on Smith. The Bills management should pull some strings and trade up to the third spot before the Cards do!

  34. lennydpocketqb says: Mar 11, 2013 12:28 AM

    Fitz is the Bills best option. Don’t be fooled by the basic DNA that will be available in the QB position in the draft this year.

    Oh, and its only a matter of time before this team moves out of Buffalo. The only person keeping it there is Ralph Wilson. Pray that he lives to 200 years old.

  35. djjackson81 says: Mar 11, 2013 2:35 AM

    Here we go Fitz to Fitz Az. No don’t do it please Arians.haha

  36. spedman24 says: Mar 11, 2013 3:26 AM

    They should just hire someone to kidnap he and Arod — split the bill with the Yankees & lose both stiffs, to never be heard from again

  37. razzlejag says: Mar 11, 2013 5:51 AM

    Don’t miss out on Geno- trade the first and second rounders to Jax for their #1 before Oakland steals him at 3.

  38. stolendog23 says: Mar 11, 2013 6:21 AM

    If you are the Bills and you are looking at a free agent would you take a guy that’s thrown for 3200 yards and 24TD’s? Of course you would. Those are Fitz’s numbers last year. I can’t stand the guy either but he is a stop gap until we draft the future kid for this franchise. Matt Moore in his career has never put up a year like Fitz did last year. Stop with all that nonsense that he “leaps and bounds” better than Fitz’s, he’s not. He’s a career journeyman and he’ll be a backup this year too. The options are limited, we all know it. Swallow hard and hope the brain trust at One Bills Drive can find an Andy Daulton or Russell Wilson.

  39. buffalomafia says: Mar 11, 2013 7:27 AM

    You know the Bills don’t want to win cause they would have gone after Alex Smith!

    The Bills should cut this one year wonder & draft Geno Smith or that USC QB?

  40. buffalomafia says: Mar 11, 2013 7:37 AM

    The Bills don’t want to win cause if they did then they would have cut the one year wonder & went after Alex Smith!

    Plus nobody wants to play in Buffalo or even coach here? Look at the coaching staff we have a bunch of cheap nobody’s because no other good coach wants to get into a train wreck!

  41. ill42 says: Mar 11, 2013 9:09 AM

    Fitz will re-structure his contract to stay and the Bills will draft a QB with one of thier top 2 picks.

    Prediction:

    1st Rd – WR Cordarrelle Patterson
    2nd Rd – QB Ryan Nassib

  42. applecool1981 says: Mar 11, 2013 10:01 AM

    jimjames2 says:
    Mar 10, 2013 11:03 PM
    “Everyone keeps saying get rid of him cut him. What are the options? Let’s cut him. Then what? I guess Jackson does have knowledge of the west coast offense but do you think we will win more than six? Have you seen who we play this year? We are lucky to win 3 games. This whole Levitre business is really ridiculous. We have too many holes to fill again. We are stuck with fitzpatrick this year under a new contract hopefully. There is no one out there or willing to play for us.”

    You basically admitedt that we have no chance of winning this year but you’re stating to keep Fitz. If we’re going to have a hard time going 3-13, why keep an expensive quarterback who routinely misses wide open receivers, regardless of if it’s short, medium, or long. He sucks this year and he will be the same next year. The difference is if we keep him this year, we have to pay him his cap hit. That in itself is not the problem; the problem would be when we cut him next year, he would still be entitled to the remainder of his signing bonus. He’s going to get his entire signing bonus under any scenario but why pay him his base salary and any roster bonuses this year on top of his signing bonus to lead the team to an at best 3 win season.

  43. macctwt says: Mar 11, 2013 10:01 AM

    They need to cut him. Fitz has proven that he can’t get it done. If Geno is there at 8, take him, otherwise wait until the 2nd round & take Nassib or Tyler Wilson.

  44. applecool1981 says: Mar 11, 2013 10:13 AM

    buffalomafia says:
    Mar 11, 2013 7:27 AM
    “You know the Bills don’t want to win cause they would have gone after Alex Smith!

    The Bills should cut this one year wonder & draft Geno Smith or that USC QB?”

    It is obvious that the Bills weren’t planning on winning this year and looking at this season as a “rebuilding year” when they cut their best and only legitimate linebacker who was only making just slightly under four million next year. I don’t blame them on treating this as rebuilding year because there’s not much they could do to get this team to be much better with the amount of salary cap space they have left. Granted, I don’t think signing Leodis Mc Kelvin to a four to five million dollar a year contract helps the situation either. They should’ve kept Barnett.

    Getting Smith would’ve done them absolutely nothing. He might have gotten them to six wins this year and they would’ve have to given a second round pick plus to get him, along with a new contract because his ends this year and he could just walk. It would’ve been a waste of picks and money. By time this team would be go enough for him to be a difference, the contract he signed with us would be up.

  45. applecool1981 says: Mar 11, 2013 10:44 AM

    Everyone saying to trade up to pick three for Geno Smith is crazy. Is he the best QB in the draft, yes. However, no QB is worth a top five selection this year. Unless he wows at his pro day or individual workouts, he’s not going before picked likely before six. Granted, Oakland’s at 4 but this isn’t Al Davis’ team where he’d be obsessed with Smith’s athleticism. If it weren’t for the Eagles spending 10 Million Dollars to keep Michael Vick this year, maybe Chip Kelly would be interested. Detroit is sitting at pick five. They have starting QB; we’ll get back to them in a minute. Sitting at pick six is Cleveland; they are intriguing and the first real option where he comes off the board. If Cleveland really wants him and is willing to give up on Weeden, then a team has trade up to five or blow the Browns away with an offer that they can’t refuse.

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