Tampa Bay Buccaneers, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick agree to terms
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reached an agreement with veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, the team announced Friday.
Fitzpatrick, 34, is coming off a two-year run with the New York Jets that was marked by one terrific season, a long contract dispute and one disappointing season. Technically, he became a free agent on Feb. 10, when his contract automatically voided.
The contract, signed on the eve of last training camp, paid him $12 million for one season.
Fitzpatrick received a raise after a career season in 2015. After replacing the injured Geno Smith in the preseason — Smith’s jaw was broken by a teammate in a locker-room altercation — Fitzpatrick led the Jets to 10 wins and set the franchise record with 31 touchdown passes.
It was a contract year for Fitzpatrick and, although there was mutual interest in another deal, it took a six-month stalemate before the two sides reached an agreement. The Jets were reluctant to commit long term because they felt his 2015 performance may have been an aberration.
In 2016, Fitzpatrick was benched twice, threw 17 interceptions and only 12 touchdowns and compiled a league-low passer rating (69.6) as the Jets stumbled to 5-11. The lowpoint was a Week 3 loss in Kansas City, where he threw six interceptions.
At the end of the season, Fitzpatrick acknowledged his starting days in the NFL probably are over, but he expressed a strong interest in resuming his career.
Fitzpatrick, who entered the league as a seventh-round pick of the Rams in 2005, is 46-69-1 as a starter while playing for six different teams. He has 166 touchdown passes, 133 interceptions and has thrown for 25,888 yards, 14th on the active list.
ESPN’s Rich Cimini contributed to this report.