After previously suiting up for the Rams, Bengals, Bills, Titans, Texans, Jets, Buccaneers and Dolphins during his 16-year career, Ryan Fitzpatrick will return for his 17th season in the NFL with the Washington Football Team on a one-year deal worth $10 million that could grow to $12 million with incentives.
Fitzpatrick went 4-3 in seven starts for Miami last season but was eventually benched by the Dolphins in favor of first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa. Now in Washington, the former Harvard quarterback will enter camp as the starter but will have to win the job over Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen.
Out of all the potential landing spots for the 38-year-old QB, this is a fairly good one for FitzMagic, as Washington has a decent receiving corps led by Terry McLaurin and a strong running game anchored by Antonio Gibson.
A true boom-or-bust player, Fitzpatrick had a 76.9 QBR and completed 68.5% of his passes last season while throwing for 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions. In his career, he has thrown for 223 touchdowns with 169 interceptions and ranks 10th among active quarterbacks with 34,977 passing yards.
“Fitzpatrick showed last season that he’s still a gunslinger and willing to do whatever it takes to win the game,” according to The Athletic Washington Football Team beat writer Rhiannon Walker. “He’s hard-working, amenable to what the coaching staff asks and a pro. One can quickly look at the situation in Miami last season, and even though he was openly hurt about being pulled as the team’s starter, Fitzpatrick remained committed to helping rookie and fifth-overall pick Tua Tagovailoa as he took over the reins. When Miami turned back to Fitzpatrick after Tagovailoa’s injury, he stepped up. Washington needs someone with that selflessness and ability to coach up the younger quarterbacks on its roster. Add a few more playmakers around Fitzpatrick, and fans could see the ball flying all over the field next season.”
In addition to giving Washington a decent chance to compete for the NFC East title again next season, bringing Fitzpatrick into the fold alongside Allen and Heinicke frees the team up from automatically drafting a quarterback at No. 19 and allows them to take the best available player.
Allen, Alex Smith and Dwayne Haskins all started regular-season games for Washington last season. The WFT qualified for the playoffs despite finishing with a sub-.500 record and wanted to start Smith against Tampa Bay but were forced to roll with Heinicke due to injury. Though the team lost to the Bucs, Heinicke played well and was inked to a contract earlier this offseason.