Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fitz prepared to 'swallow my pride,' take backup role


A year and a half ago, the Buffalo Bills handed Ryan Fitzpatrick a big ol' contract extension, giving him the keys to take the wheel and fully own the offense.

Early in the 2013 offseason, Fitzpatrick would just be happy for a team to let him in the back seat. (photo: Doug Kerr, Flickr)

The potential the Bills thought they had in the journeyman signal-caller never materialized, and Buffalo's new regime released Fitzpatrick at the start of free agency. Roughly 24 hours later, Fitzpatrick put on his "realist" face and accepted what will probably be next: a clipboard gig.

“I’m a guy who has been through a lot in my career–a seventh round draft choice, a guy that has been on three different teams, who has really learned from some great players and some great men," the veteran journeyman told John Murphy, via

"So, if I need to shift into the role of a backup and a guy that’s going to mentor somebody, that’s maybe the point in my career where I’ve got to slip down into that role and swallow my pride a little bit.”

Fitzpatrick is a very good backup who could come in for a portion of a game or season to make some things happen, given a younger starter was injured or needed to take a temporary step back.

But Fitzpatrick's inability to string together a productive body of work will put him behind a lesser-proven quarterback for the simple fact that with Fitz, we know what we're going to get. The St. Louis Rams understood that, as did the Cincinnati Bengals before sending Fitzpatrick to Buffalo.

“I think for me, Buffalo was probably the best opportunity for me to start (this year)," he said. "Unfortunately, they didn’t want to make that happen. So I’m kind of at a crossroads right now. I don’t know if there’s going to be a starting job out there that I can compete for or contend for. If there is, I’m certainly willing to do it.”

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