The Buccaneers will be in a boom or bust situation if Ryan Fitzpatrick is forced into a starting role.
The Buccaneers have had a hole at the backup quarterback position after Mike Glennon signed with the Chicago Bears. After the selection of Mitchell Trubisky, Glennon may regret leaving, but he is gone. Ryan Griffin has not taken a regular season snap and neither had any other quarterback vying for the position of Jameis Winston’s backup.
That is, until today. As reported earlier by Michael Horan, Ryan Fitzpatrick has been signed to become the Bucs backup quarterback. Per Ian Rappaport, the deal is for one year and worth $3 million plus incentives.
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Fitzpatrick is 34 years old, and this will be his seventh team in 13 NFL seasons. Most recently, he spent the last two seasons with the New York Jets, on a roller coaster ride from the “Fitzmagic” season of 2015 to the season of 2016 where everybody wanted him out of town.
His best quality is his ability to mentor. After all, Fitzpatrick was brought to New York in 2015 to be a mentor. It wasn’t until the punch to the jaw of Geno Smith that he became the starter. Without that incident, Smith would have remained the starter and Fitzpatrick would have been relegated to the bench. By all accounts, Smith was outplaying Fitzpatrick in the 2015 preseason.
Fitzpatrick has been around this league several times over. He has seen a lot and been through a lot. He can help the team, and Jameis Winston, get through any trouble spots they might find.
If Winston is injured, however, it could be a problem. It might not be a problem, but it could be.
Just look at how he did in the two years up in New York. In 2015, he threw for 31 touchdowns versus 15 interceptions and the Jets finished 10-6. Last year, he threw for 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, leading to multiple benchings. The problem is that Fitzpatrick carried with him a similar trade to Winston. He too likes to force plays when they aren’t there, and that causes turnovers. It causes a whole lot of them.
Now, the Bucs roster will help. When around talented players, Fitzpatrick has played well…sometimes. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker on the outside helped lead the way for Fitz to put up the season of his life in 2015. Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson are certainly equal to or better than the Jets duo, should Fitzpatrick have to step in. But last year, he went back to his old habit of forcing plays, and he became a turnover machine.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a good choice for a backup. He will make us all nervous if something happens to Winston and he has to play.