Buddy Nix had a phone call recorded today. During the call it became apparent that Ryan Fitzpatrick had an uphill battle to stay the starting quarterback of the Buffalo Bills. He would also have to drastically restructure his current contract just to stay on the team. By 4 PM the Bills released Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Fitz era at QB was set up to be a positive- good guy who has shown some promise but never handed the reigns to lead the Bills, what is more Buffalo than that? And how can you get worse than Captain Checkdown, master of the five yard pass, leader of the Council of Trent?
It started very well. Fitzmagic had us believing, even while losing often in 2010. Stevie and Fitz developed chemistry as the season progressed and close loses to Baltimore, KC and Chicago were better efforts than Bills fans had seen strung together in years. A Stevie Johnson drop kept the Bills from taking out the eventual Super Bowl loser, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Things were looking up for the Bills, then October 28th 2011 pen, paper and expectations rewrote everything.
Fitzmagic began to dwindle shorty after his big 6 year 59 million dollar deal was signed. I don’t believe Fitz ever gave less than everything he had every Sunday, but the pressure of living up to his deal appeared to make him press. He went from slinging the ball like a Vegas magician does misdirection to fumbling the dove in his pocket like a carney hack. By the 2012 season his timing with Stevie was shot and he started to behave Trentonian. That is right, like the two Darrens on Bewitched the Bills had two Captain Checkdowns. To make matters worse the offense labored on his distressed shoulders while CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson played part time roles, CJ while averaging over 6.5 yards a carry. The third best player in the offensive backfield was the focus.
Fitz is the most loveable of the post Jim Kelly Bills quarterbacks. He was the most easy to root for and came across as one of the most genuine Bills I have ever cheered for. At this point we need so much more than that. Like every QB since Kelly he failed at leading us to a playoff victory… only one has even taken us there since. Fitzmagic was like smoke and mirrors on the score board and the standings. It wasn’t enough in the end.
Tarvaris Jackson, could be the answer. 1st or 2nd rounder to groom? I hope so. Maybe a flier on one in the fifth or sixth round too. The team has many needs, but the main one is under center.