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Ryan Fitzpatrick Landing Spots: Potential suitors for free-agent QB

While not a deep QB free agency class in 2021, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will bring a veteran presence to his new landing spot for the ninth time.

Ryan Fitzpatrick Landing Spots: Potential suitor for free agent QB
Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws a pass in the fourth quarter against the Las Vegas Raidersat Allegiant Stadium. The Dolphins defeated the Raiders 26-25. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the rumblings, long-time NFL QB Ryan Fitzpatrick does intend on playing in 2021. After 16 years and eight teams, where are some potential landing spots for Ryan Fitzpatrick as he hits free agency?

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Possible landing spots for Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick does intend on playing in 2021

For a brief moment, things got depressing. Not one of us wants to live in a world where there is no Fitzmagic. Okay, maybe that is a bit extreme, but some people were hanging his cleats up for him. 

Despite the rumors, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Ryan Fitzpatrick does, in fact, plan on playing in 2021 and that he should have a solid free agency market as well.

There absolutely should be demand for Ryan Fitzpatrick in free agency. Just look at what happened in 2020. If a team didn’t have a competent backup option or there was a positive test, they were SOL. Even if you have a young QB and need someone to teach him how to be a professional, no one knows that better than Ryan Fitzpatrick. It was one of the reasons Miami had him with Tua Tagovailoa. 

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Throughout his lengthy career, Ryan Fitzpatrick has had his trials and tribulations. He has appeared in 165 games, making 146 starts as a QB. Fitzpatrick has completed 3,069 of 5,054 attempts (60.7%) for 34,977 yards with 223 touchdowns and 169 interceptions. He is also the only player in NFL history to throw a touchdown pass with eight teams.

Whether a hybrid bridge/starting QB, a teacher, or even a backup, Ryan Fitzpatrick should have no shortage of potential landing spots as he heads into free agency looking for team No. 9.

Will a reduced salary cap impact the free-agent QBs pursuing new landing spots in 2021?

Due to lost revenue of the 2020 season, the NFL salary cap took a massive hit. Adam Schefter recently reported the 2021 salary cap will be $182.5 million. 

Because of the loss of revenue and lower salary cap, teams will have to make difficult decisions regarding veterans. When it comes to quarterbacks, this is a massive development, as they draw the highest salaries.

There are no “big-name” free agents this offseason. However, that won’t stop teams from calling former Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, hoping to land him and locking up a QB1/QB2 spot on their roster. Although I don’t think we will see quite the same payday as Prescott just received from the Cowboys.

As he hits free agency, where are some potential landing spots for Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2021?

Would the Chicago Bears be a potential landing spot for Ryan Fitzpatrick?

Mitch Trubisky is a free agent, and given the rumors of a Nick Foles trade, it’s safe to say they are open to other options. Bears general manager Ryan Pace said, “everything is on the table,” referencing Chicago’s future at quarterback. 

While Ryan Fitzpatrick is not a franchise QB, he could serve as a bridge until it’s time to hand over the keys of the franchise. This would also require them to move up in the draft as we could see all of the “Big Five” QBs gone before the Bears come on the clock at pick No. 20.

Is Denver a landing spot as someone who could pursue Ryan Fitzpatrick in free agency?

Depending on who you ask, the opinion on Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock varies widely. There is a camp that believes he needs another year to prove himself. Then, there is an even louder group who want to move on from the Missouri product. Even though he only played in 13 games, Lock led the NFL with 15 interceptions, throwing for 2,933 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Related | When does NFL free agency start in 2021? Other key NFL free agency dates

We also know the Broncos, like most teams, do not have a viable backup QB. Denver as a landing spot could be on the radar for Ryan Fitzpatrick. He would bring a veteran presence to an overall young skill group full of talent. If Lock struggles the same as Tua, we know Fitzpatrick has no problem coming in and being aggressive as the starter. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick could choose New England as a landing spot in free agency

At this point, why not? He has already played for every other AFC East team. It is no secret the Cam Newton experiment failed. As they sit without a franchise QB, bringing in someone like Ryan Fitzpatrick in free agency makes a lot of sense.

He can be the potential bridge if they go QB in the first round, and it allows him to compete. It was well-documented when he said Miami broke his heart when they pulled him from the QB1 for Tua. Fitzpatrick wants to compete and believes he can be a starter. 

Finding a landing spot where ambiguity surrounds the QB position could be Ryan Fitzpatrick’s play as he heads into free agency.

The Washington Football Team could be a frontrunner as a free agency landing spot for Ryan Fitzpatrick

Speaking of ambiguity, Washington is full of it at the moment. They have already released Alex Smith, and as of right now, would be riding with Taylor Heinicke as the opening week starter. Washington did just sign Heinicke to a two-year deal worth $8.75 million, so they do have some faith in his skills.

Related | 2021 NFL Free Agency: Top 100 NFL Free Agents of 2021

However, the sample sizes could not be any further apart. He is mostly riding off the hype surrounding his Wild Card performance where the WFT had the eventual Super Bowl champions on the ropes for a while.

Would anyone be surprised if he struggles if given the starting role? Or even if Ryan Fitzpatrick outright wins it in camp? Ron Rivera will play the best guy, and if Ryan Fitzpatrick lands in the nation’s capital in free agency, it might very well be him.

Want more NFL news and analysis?

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@PFN365) to stay up to date with all things around the NFL. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis concerning the 2021 season and beyond.

Tommy Garrett is a writer for Pro Football Network covering the NFL and fantasy football. You can read more of his work here and follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.

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