Fitzpatrick’s days in Buffalo could be down to single digits

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When the Bills signed quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to a new one-year deal, new coach Doug Marrone declared that there will be an open competition at the position.

It will be hard for incumbent starter Ryan Fitzpatrick to compete if he’s not on the roster.

If Fitzpatrick remains on the roster as of March 13, he’ll earn a $3 million roster bonus.  Though the Bills haven’t said Fitzpatrick will be cut, they also haven’t declared unequivocally that he’ll stay.

And while Marrone has informed Fitzpatrick of the open competition, he made it clear during our visit at the Scouting Combine that he has no influence over the decisions made by the front office.

With the leader of the front office, G.M. Buddy Nix, declaring during the 2012 season that he wants to have a “good young quarterback” regarded as a “franchise guy for the future in place” before Nix leaves and with no quarterback currently on the team fitting that description and with Jackson signed only weeks before he could have walked, the biggest question currently confronting the Bills is whether $3 million will be paid to Fitzpatrick in the near future — chased by a $200,000 workout bonus and a $4.35 million base salary during the season.

Don’t be surprised if the answer is no.

The fact that the Bills moved with some urgency to re-sign Jackson could be regarded as a sign that they didn’t want to enter free agency with neither Fitzpatrick nor Jackson under contract.  So, if Fitzpatrick gets cut, the Bills will at least have Jackson signed and sealed as they search for other quarterbacks who can deliver.

17 responses to “Fitzpatrick’s days in Buffalo could be down to single digits

  1. The Bills might not get much worse if they were to keep Fitzpatrick, but I can guarantee they won’t get better. It’s time for this guy to be releases so he can hook up with another team as a capable backup that you hope you don’t see for more than a few games at most each season. The city of Buffalo with their very dedicated fanbase deserve better, and cutting the cord on this mistake would be a start.

  2. Great all around guy. But will never possess the “it” factor as a QB. Smith, Barkley or Nassib. Been to long since we had a francise QB.

  3. The problem with releasing Fitzpatrick is that his pro-rated bonus money counts immediately against the cap. So if he gets cut, a $10.45 million cap hit becomes a $10 million cap hit. You save a few million in cash but you don’t get any cap room to replace him.

    Might’ve been something worth mentioning in this article. It’s not quite so straight forward for the Bills.

  4. the team is probably gonna struggle this season anyway, just cut fitz and move on, give him a chance to find a place elsewhere and start creating a fresh identity for this offense

  5. Tarvaris Jackson? Every team goes through this. Trying to replace a franchise QB. As a saints fan, we went through about 10 QB’s till Brees showed up.

    Cripes, we had billy joe hobert and tolliver in the same year.

    I would stick with Fitzpatric for now, and possibly groom a younger QB.

  6. Another article full of speculation with one singular fact… The only thing constant in this story is that the Bills have said nothing about Ryan Fitzpatrick.

  7. Contract extension…what contract extension? I swear I think owners laugh when they sign players to these multi-million dollar contracts. Like “Yea, okay. You know it’s a year to year deal. You screw up. You’re gone.”

  8. I would love to keep Fitzpatrick as a back-up. A Frank Reich type QB that has more smarts than athleticism, but can come in at any time and rally the team back to a win. He has had some very nice games throughout his career, from St. Louis to Cincinnati to Buffalo. As a matter of fact, Fitz’s first game of his career, he led the Rams to a W in the closing moments of the game. We have seen him do the same for the Bengals and the Bills. The Bills future does not lay in his hands though.

  9. I find it very hard to believe that a head coach has “no influence” on a decision like that. If he doesn’t, they’re tying his hands already.

  10. Fitzpatrick has played well from time to time, but has the frustrating habit of making bone-headed decisions at critical times. Maybe a better O-line would help.

    The extension the Bills signed him to was ridiculous. The guy had like, two decent games in a row and suddenly they had to lock him up. Yet another stupid decision by the Bills FO, but we’ve come to expect nothing else from the Bills.

  11. “The problem with releasing Fitzpatrick is that his pro-rated bonus money counts immediately against the cap. So if he gets cut, a $10.45 million cap hit becomes a $10 million cap hit. You save a few million in cash but you don’t get any cap room to replace him.”

    This is true but cutting him also clears his money off the books totally. Won’t have to deal with a dead money hit in 2014. He’s likely to be replaced by a low-cost rookie anyway, so the impact on the cap in 2013 will be extremely minimal.

  12. Fitzpatrick was terrible here in Cincy. I was surprised he turned it around in Buffalo. He’s definitely not a franchise guy, but if I were a Cardinals fan, I’d want him over Matt Cassel for sure. He’d be an improvement for the Jags, Browns, Jets, and Vikes as well.

  13. Cut Fitz and try to pick up Matt Moore, a very serviceable QB who most think could run Marrone’s offense. That could clear things up considerably when picking among Wilson, Bray, or Nassib. If the team had a trio of T Jax, Moore, and Wilson, say, to start training camp, how bad could that be?

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