How Much Is Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick Worth?
There have been rumors and reports for a couple of days about the status of Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's contract. The reports state that Fitz could get offered an extension by the Buffalo Bills worth approximately 9-12 million dollars per year with the length of time unspecified, but I would have to guess not more than five years. What do you think about the possible extension? I am torn...
The negative that comes up in my mind first is Dick Jauron. Do you remember back in 2008 when the Bills started the season 5-1? News came out that while the Bills were winning early in that season the Bills gave former coach Dick Jauron a contract extension to remain the coach for years. The Bills that year lost eight of their last ten games. Jauron was fired the following season in November of 2009. What does this have to do with Fitz? You shouldn't jump the gun and offer a large contract extension based on the play of just six games this season. That is what the Bills did after a fast start in 2008 with Jauron.
Here are some qualities that I love about Fitz, I look for a guy that can make smart throws, can get rid of the ball quick, is durable and has accuracy. Fitz does possess those qualities he has shown that early on this season. Last Sunday's game against the Giants was probably his worst performance this year. In last weeks game against the Giants, Fitz threw two long balls to Stevie Johnson and the passes were intercepted. Every quarterback is going to have a bad week. Fitz may not be able to make those long throws that some other quarterbacks make, but me as a fan, I don't need that. I am happy with shorter catches and wide receivers that can gain yardage after the catch. Other players around him are injured and the offensive line is banged up, and that will make a difference on how Fitz looks in the game. The Giants defense definitely brought the pressure last week.
Fitzpatrick has gotten much better as a quarterback since he came to Buffalo. Last season he played in 13 games and threw for 3,000 yards and had 23 passing touchdowns, not bad. This season he is playing his best that we've seen and ranks #12 amongst 2011 NFL quarterbacks. So far he has thrown for 1,477 yards and has thrown 12 touchdown passes. Fitz's numbers are close to Falcons QB Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler of the Bears. Chan Gailey and Fitz have a great relationship and Gailey has put together an offense that works well for Fitzpatrick.
The Bills and coach Chan Gailey obviously like Fitzpatrick enough to keep him around for a while. The Bills have liked other guys too, JP Losman, Trent Edwards, Todd Collins and Rob Johnson. These guys didn't work out, they weren't horrible but not good enough to lead the Bills to a Super Bowl and barally the playoffs. The Bills fans need the answer, a QB that will lead them to bigger things. With Fitz, it's too early to tell. A four to five year commitment would be alot without seeing more. I am not sure that Fitz is the long term solution. Go ahead and pay Fitz 9-12 million, that seems to be the going rate for a decent quarterback these days. I just don't want the Bills to sign him long term until we see some more big games. Put the contract talks off until at least week 13. Let's not jump the gun, again.
What do you think Fitz is worth? Leave your comments below...