The legend of Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to grow.
The NFL’s all-time journeyman quarterback will play for the ninth different NFL team of his illustrious career after signing a one-year, $10 million deal that could balloon to $12 million with incentives, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.
According to Schefter’s source, Fitzpatrick will go into training camp as the starting quarterback, but will see competition from youngsters Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen.
The signing of a quarterback like Fitzpatrick that isn’t too expensive and can come in right away, lead the squad, and be productive is a perfect fit for a Washington team that is looking to continue to build out their roster as they look to maintain the competitiveness that allowed them to win the NFC East in 2020.
Washington is not expected to repeat that feat, however, boasting just +350 NFL odds (888sport), and sitting behind both the Philadelphia Eagles (+300) and Dallas Cowboys (-111) on the NFC East odds table. With the man they call Fitz-magic at the controls for the nation’s capital, a futures wager on Washington to win the rough and tumble NFC East is not a bad idea at all.
Washington has been having a brutal time at the quarterback position for what feels like forever: they’ve trotted out 32 different starting signal callers in the past 30 seasons. Including playoffs, they had four different ones start a game for them last season: Heinicke, Allen, former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins (cut midseason), and veteran Alex Smith (cut during offseason).
At 38 years of age and going into his 17th NFL season, Fitz-magic has said he treats his NFL availability as a year-to-year question these days, but that the decision was “really easy” this offseason after the way he played as the bridge starter for the Miami Dolphins over the past couple of seasons.
Fitzpatrick arrived in South Beach in 2019 and beat out Josh Rosen for the starting job on a rebuilding team that lost its first seven games in ugly fashion. Fitz-magic led the team to five wins in their last nine games, however, which added a ton of confidence to the young team.
Fitzpatrick played an important role last season too, starting while Miami’s franchise quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, got up to NFL speed. The Dolphins eventually gave Tua the job, and Fitzpatrick was just as good in a mentoring role with the rookie signal caller.
As if he could have gone out any other way, Fitz-magic’s final act in a Dolphins uniform was coming off the bench to lift his team to a comeback victory over the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 16. He was unable to push them into the playoffs with a Week 17 win after contracting COVID a couple of days after the Raiders win, however.
Washington will surprisingly be Fitzpatrick’s first time playing for a team in the NFC East, which will be the sixth different division in which the Harvard alum will play. Fitz-magic has started and thrown a touchdown (and an interception) for an NFL-record eight different franchises.
In 2021 he’ll look to boost his record as the greatest journeyman quarterback of all-time by doing it all for his ninth different team. Across his topsy-turvy, winding road of a career, Fitz-magic compiled nearly 34,977 passing yards and 223 passing touchdowns against 169 interceptions in 165 career NFL appearances.