Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to backup Winston

Hazel Gray
May 19, 2017

The Buccaneers needed to find a quality back-up quarterback for starter Jameis Winston after Mike Glennon signed with the Chicago Bears in free agency. All three will battle for one or two QB spots behind Winston, the clear starter who could be on the verge of a breakout season. Since 2010, he has started 93 games, and in that span he ranks 13th in the National Football League in passing yards (21,784) and 11th in touchdown tosses (145).

Fitzpatrick signed a one-year, $12 million deal a year ago on the eve of training camp and was a disaster, throwing 10 interceptions in his first four starts (three losses) and eventually lost the job before returning to the starting lineup later in the season. The Jets selected Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg in the second round even though the team already had Fitzpatrick and second-year quarterback out of Baylor Bryce Petty on the roster. The 34-year-old Harvard graduate spent the past two seasons with the Jets, after stops in Tennessee, Buffalo, Cincinnati, and St. Louis. Fitzpatrick was not re-signed following a 5-11 season.

Fitzpatrick is 14th on the active passing yards list with 25,888 yards through the air. In 12 starts, he completed 59.4% of his passes for 1,905 yards, eight touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Ryan Fitzpatrick grabbed a chair in this offseason's game of quarterback musical chairs. The front office sought to give Winston a greater array of explosive targets during the offseason, adding free agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson and drafting tight end O.J. Howard in the first round and wide receiver Chris Godwin in the third round.

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