Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has played for 25 percent of the NFL’s teams. He’ll likely be joining a ninth team in 2021.
Via Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Fitzpatrick “believes he’s played well enough the past couple of years to get a chance to at least compete for a starting job with some team.”
That won’t happen in Miami, where Fitzpatrick at most would be the relief pitcher for Tua Tagovailoa. So where will Fitzpatrick go?
Woody Paige of the Denver Gazette recently tweeted that he believes that Drew Lock will return to Denver, but that a veteran like Tyrod Taylor or Fitzpatrick will be added. Paige claims that the Broncos already have spoken to Fitzpatrick.
Obviously, that would be tampering. The more pertinent question (given the league’s usual tolerance of tampering) becomes whether Fitzpatrick and the Broncos would be interested in doing business. Given Lock’s injuries and uneven performances, Fitzpatrick eventually would get a chance to play.
Other possibilities could exist for Fitzpatrick in Chicago, Houston (if the Texans trade Deshaun Watson), Jacksonville (if the Jaguars don’t want to throw Trevor Lawrence immediately into the fray), Washington, Philadelphia (as a competitor for Jalen Hurts), or Seattle (if the Seahawks trade Russell Wilson).
And while Fitzpatrick continues to make memorable moments, there’s a switch that often flips from FitzMagic to FitzTragic. The transformation often happens when it’s least expected, and it quite often is spectacular.
So that’s the question: Can a team rely on Fitzpatrick as a full-season starter, or is he better suited to periodic appearances that get the most out of his skills and abilities without extending his stay on the field for so long that the magic turns tragic?
Regardless, he’s still good enough to be on a roster in 2021, and he’s still good enough to have a role. The challenge becomes finding the best possible roster and the best possible role.