The Texans haven’t yet identified their franchise quarterback of the future, but they have identified a veteran who could serve as a short-term starter and/or a veteran mentor to the No. 1 overall pick.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, formerly of the Titans, has signed with the Texans today. Ed Werder of ESPN reports that it’s a two-year deal.
This move makes clear — if it wasn’t clear already — that veteran quarterback Matt Schaub will not remain in Houston. Schaub is still under contract, but the Texans will either trade him or cut him.
The 31-year-old Fitzpatrick started nine games last year and has previously been a starter in Buffalo and Cincinnati, and he could start in Houston this year. If the Texans use the first overall pick in the NFL draft on a quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel, they may decide to ease their rookie quarterback into the NFL and start the season with Fitzpatrick under center. If the Texans don’t use the first overall pick on a quarterback, Fitzpatrick would likely beat out Case Keenum and T.J. Yates for the starting job.
Fitzpatrick is never going to be a great quarterback, but he can be a competent quarterback while the Texans figure out if they can draft a quarterback who will eventually be great.