Fitzpatrick should be glad he did his deal when he did

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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.

38 responses to “Fitzpatrick should be glad he did his deal when he did

  1. “the two sides hammered out a six-year, $59 million deal”


    Between that and the Kolb deal, this season has produced many lulz.

  2. Ok, for all of you they should not have paid Chris Johnson yaho’s. Are you now saying they shouldn’t pay any QB’s? lol Too funny

  3. Fitzpatrick is a smart, accurate QB, but that noodle arm of his will only take the Bills so far. Arm strength isn’t the end all, be all for QB’s, but you gotta be able to zip a few 15 yard outs every game.

  4. i think the issue is, should they have went for Blaine Gabbert (who looks like a serious project at this point), or should they have went conservative, and put more money into the OL for next year and held out on Fitzpatrick’s deal? We’ll never know now…

  5. bengalsown says: Nov 14, 2011 10:45 AM

    “the two sides hammered out a six-year, $59 million deal”


    Between that and the Kolb deal, this season has produced many lulz.


    That’s the going rate for a mid-tier QB. It’s less than the Chiefs gave Cassel (6 years, $63 million), and he’s absolutely terrible.

  6. “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. ”

    That’s weird, last time I checked they sold all home games so far… including the toronto game (5 total). They are on track to sellout December 4 against the Titans. Don’t place too much emphasis on not being able to sellout the late December games, even in their haydays in the 90’s Buffalo had trouble selling out December games in the snow.

  7. Unfortunately that seems to be the going rate for an average QB. Thanks Kolb and Cassell. Just glad he’s not getting paid what Vick is making to be average.

  8. That fat contract means there will be one less team in the 7-16 draft position looking for a QB. Good news for my Seahawks.

  9. I’d much rather deal with him while the team finds/grooms a great QB than have the revolving door of shiesse that defined the last decade.

    Besides, QB play is pretty low on the list of things wrong with the Bills.

  10. I wonder if one obese Ryan brother told the other obese Ryan brother how to stop that offense last week?

  11. His salary is higher than his rating the last two weeks. Have no fear Bills’ fans, the Dolphins are up next. We’re sure to make him look Drew Brees-like once again.

  12. @pudgalvin

    You must not watch alot of Bills games. Fitz’s arm may not be the strongest, but he puts plenty of zip on his throws. The problem is, when the ball isn’t lobbed to certain receivers, they tend to drop it. The lack of Talent on the outside is starting to show. Chandler, Nelson, and even Roosevelt have shown playmaking abilities and consistency, but Donald Jones by far was the worst decision of the coaching staff. Lee Evans may not have fought for catches and blah, blah, blah, but he caught catchable balls, and also was just good enough to make sure Stevie didn’t have 4 guys swarming to him every snap. Get Fitz a legitamate #2 and things will turn around in a hurry. Also, having Levitre at guard and a true LT at LT will make a huge diffrence in Pass Pro. as well.

  13. First of all I’m not a Bills fan.

    This is not the same team from ’08. I don’t expect them to tank the rest of the season. I believe they are going to be in the mix and have a decent chance to be a contender in the AFC. How far they go will be up to them. They have the talent, let’s see if they can make it all work together.

  14. @rabidbillsfan:

    I haven’t watch as many games as you for sure, but I believe I’ve watched five this year; Cowboys game, Jets game, Giants game, Patriots game, and Raiders game. I can’t believe I’ve watched 5 Bills games this year. I’m sure more talent around him will help, and he’s done an awesome job for the most part this year, but I really don’t believe he’s got that elite level arm strength to make all the throws. Being very, very accurate can make up for a lot of it, but I haven’t seen him make some of the throws that a Rodgers or Brees or Brady makes where you just scratch your head and say not much anyone coulda done about that.

  15. This deal doesn’t proclude them from taking a QB in the next draft since the rookie deals aren’t out of wack anymore.

    I would have never paid Fitzpatrick that much because he’s simply an above average, physically limited journeyman type at the end of the day, but it’s better than being saddled with the Kolb disaster deal.

    Blaine Gabbert is a disaster, and while I think the reports were that the Bills liked Christian Ponder, who I still maintain will be the cream of this draft at the end of the day, taking him at 3 was way too high.

  16. Fitz has played at the level of a top 10-12 QB since taking over for Capt. Checkdown last year. He’s a very good QB who puts stability at the position for the Bills lacking since #12 retired 15 years ago.

    He didn’t get Manning (both), Brady, Vick or 1st overall pick money – he got paid as a QB who plays as well as the top 10-12 QB’s in the league play.

    For the money Fitz got to put consistency at the QB position and allow the Bills front office to address other needs, 6 yr./$59 million was more than fair and, as a diehard Bills fan, I don’t regret the contract at all.

    Go Bills!

  17. Can this collapse please take heat off the Lions collapse? At least we’re still 6-3.
    No, the Lions are in the same boat. Overrated!!!

    The Bills aren’t contenders, but “Collapse” is too strong a term. This isn’t the ’08 or even the ’10 Bills. They’ve played with heart! They have huge issues with the D, and the O-line. They now have a smart, dependable QB and can afford to address those now.
    Plus, as a Bills fan, it’s nice to not have to google who’s the starting QB or head coach every week. So, from Mularkey (let’s have a burger), to Jauron (Honey, come look is he breathing?), and through Rob Johnson to Capt. Checkdown. It’s nice to have some consistency!

  18. @rabidbillsfan
    Fitz has an awful arm..thats why he underthrows every deep pass to Stevie!


  19. Its very simple. People are hating on Fitzy, and rightfully so, he’s been awful lately in his decision making but the real culprit is CHAN GAILEY! Fred Jackson has 12 carries for 114 yesterday, he didn’t establish the run from play 1 like he should have.

    Chan, we are NOT Green Bay. Fitz is NOT Aaron Rodgers…so STOP calling plays like you have that offense.

    I’m so beyond frustrated because he claimed in his post game press conference that he went away from the run too early in the Jets game. Well coach, ya did it again! WTF!?

  20. Serious question: How many teams is Chris Berman’s team? I’ve heard him say San Diego, San Francisco, and Buffalo. Am I missing any? Sorry, but that is like having 3 wives. Doesnt work.

  21. Hey Bills fans, tell me again how bad Poz is again.

    There sure was alot of yapping about how bad a player he was, can’t cover, only tackles 10-15 yards downfield, he is made of glass.

    Maybe in the pro-bowl game he will play like you describe.

  22. This is not a “collapse,” this is a market correction. The Bills were never going to the playoffs this year. We are a rebuilding team that started hot. Things are on the right track.

  23. pudgalvin that sort of thing happens when your pass protection falls apart. did you see brady in the first half last night? when fitz has halfway decent protection he shines- he shows it by checking down to the 3rd/4th options, and isn’t trying to force Donald Jones into the game.

  24. Fitz’s WR corp is as follows:

    Stevie Johnson 7th rounder
    Donald Jones, UDFA
    David Nelson, UDFA
    Ruvell Martin, cut earlier in year
    Naaman Rooselvelt, UDFA and cut earlier in year

    CJ Spiller, playing WR for the first time in his career after playing RB.

    Chris Chandler TE, cut by San Diego, signed off of Dallas’ practice squad in the middle of the season last year.

    Brad Smith QB and wildcat specialist, also some WR.

    Not a lot of talent there. A lot of grit, determination, and heart, but short on talent.

    Plus, if Fitz holds the ball for more than 2 seconds OT both get beat. Tough situation he is in.

  25. Oh yeah it’s his fault that the Bills pass defense made Tony Romo look like Aaron Rodgers yesterday. It’s his fault his offensive line gives him 2-3 seconds to throw.

    Fitz was playing from 21 points behind extremely early in the game.

    All 3 of Fitz’s picks came with the game already far out of reach. Maybe if Gailey attempted to run the ball early in the game with a guy averaging nearly 6 yards per carry, the Bills offense would have stood a chance at a come back, but on the Bills first offensive drive he called 3 pass plays (all 3 of which Fitz had serious pressure from Ware) that resulted in a 3 and out and an eventual 14-0 deficit.

    Fred Jackson has been far away the best RB in the league this year, and he got 13 carries yesterday.

    This is far from Fitzpatricks fault.

  26. I’m down here in Bengal land, and I can tell you Fitz has all the arm strength needed. He also moves very well. Bright? A no-brainer yes.
    When he has required support, he will shine and be more appreciated that some of you now do. The bungles made a mistake in letting him go.

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