NFL latest news: Ryan Fitzpatrick playing on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as Jameis Winston

Ryan Fitzpatrick seeks new opportunity with Buccaneers
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Ryan Fitzpatrick
New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Reuters/ Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Fitzpatrick inked a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a chance for the 34-year-old quarterback to rekindle his NFL career. Details on the deal are up for confirmation, although reports say it will be a one-year deal worth US$3 million (AU$4 million). 

It will be a new lease on life for Fitzpatrick, who earned his starting slot for the New York Jets until things went haywire. He would eventually lose it to Bryce Petty towards the end of the 2016-17 NFL season. 

A lot of that had to do with his shaky performance, particularly the six-interception performance he had against the Kansas City Chiefs during week 3. At that time, Fitzpatrick had his worst game as a quarterback with six interceptions. That performance gave the 34-year-old the worst game grade performance, according to Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson.

With the Buccaneers, Fitzpatrick starts anew as a backup unless he is able to straighten out his erratic play. He will play behind starter Jameis Watson and join his seventh team. He had previous stops with the Rams, Bengals, Bills, Titans and Texans, ESPN reports.

Fitzpatrick is one less quarterback who has to ponder his NFL future. Some free agent quarterbacks still available. They include Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III. As previously reports, Kaepernick and RG3 are being considered by the Seattle Seahawks.

It remains to be seen if the rollercoaster ride continues for Ryan Fitzpatrick. He started out marvelously for the Jets before contract disputes waylaid his run. He technically became a free agent last Feb. 10 when his contract was voided. 

With regards to a starting role, Fitzpatrick is aware that aiming for such may no longer be feasible. The backup role seems suited for him (at least for one year) as he continues to play the game he loves. 

At 34, Fitzpatrick is in the twilight of his illustrious NFL career. He was the seventh-round pick of the Rams in 2005 and has since been 46-69-1 as a starter for six teams. He has 166 touchdown passes, 133 interceptions and has thrown for 25,888 yards, 14th on the active list.

While Fitzpatrick is a shoe-in to be a backup, coach Dirk Koetter could be called upon to fill in as a stopgap starter. That would include filling in for Jameis Winston on occasion when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need significant snaps. 

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