Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fitzpatrick gets paid, now Bills' franchise QB

It may have taken 15 years and nine player departures, but the Bills have finally made their choice on a franchise quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick has accomplished what only one other quarterback has since Jim Kelly, signing a six-year extension worth nearly $60 million.

“I’m excited about Ryan getting this done,” general manager Buddy Nix told reporters Friday. “He’ll be our quarterback for a long time.”

Before Fitz’s deal, Doug Flutie’s extension was the only quarterback re-signing since the mid-90s.

“It’s been a long road,” Fitzpatrick told the Buffalo media. “There’s been a lot of hurdles and obstacles that I’ve had to overcome. I think we’ve got this thing headed in the right direction. So to be a part of that, and to be able to continue to be a part of that for years to come, I’m really excited about it.”

Buffalo’s struggles behind center have been a black eye on the franchise for quite some time. The Bills have struggled year after year to find someone who can not only start all 16 games, but win games. From Flutie to Drew Bledsoe, J.P. Losman to Trent Edwards, Nix finally feels he’s found that missing piece of the puzzle.

“It really makes everything easier for us. It’s easy to put good players around him if you’ve got that position that you feel good about. And we do.”

Fitzpatrick’s extension couldn’t have been a tough sell for the guys upstairs. He’s fourth in the league in completion rating, fifth in touchdowns seventh in quarterback rating. And as everyone likes to point out, graduating from Harvard doesn’t hurt. You know, the “smart” thing.

“It’s kind of all falling in place here with the coach that I have now, the guys that I’m playing with,” Fitzpatrick said. “I’m obviously extremely happy about today. I’ve been a quarterback my whole life, and that’s what it’s been for me my whole life. I welcome the challenge.”

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