Bills cut Ryan Fitzpatrick

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The Ryan Fitzpatrick era is over, and Buffalo needs a new quarterback.

The Bills have announced that they cut Ryan Fitzpatrick today, on the first day of the new league year.

Cutting Fitzpatrick isn’t a big surprise, considering that the Bills owed him a $3 million roster bonus if he was still on the team tomorrow, and that Bills G.M. Buddy Nix was surreptitiously taped talking about, among other things, his frustration that the quarterback was holding the team back.

The six-year, $59 million contract extension Fitzpatrick signed in October of 2011 turned out to be an expensive mistake — and a reminder that sometimes in the NFL, “six-year contracts” last less than a year and a half. If the Bills give this move a post-June 1 designation, Fitpatrick’s cap hit would be $3 million this year and $7 million in 2014.

Now the question is where the Bills will look for their next starting quarterback. This isn’t viewed as a great year to draft one, but the Bills may decide to spend their first-round draft pick on a passer they hope will be their franchise quarterback.

And the question for Fitzpatrick is whether any team wants him. If any team does, it will likely be as a backup — and will definitely be for a lot less money than the Bills paid him.