Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Sports

March 12, 2013

Put'n out the Fitz

Bills open free agency by cutting inconsistent QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

(Continued)

BUFFALO —

"Our focus remains on adding another quarterback to our roster, and we will continue to explore every option available to us," Nix said.
The Bills had sent mixed signals regarding Fitzpatrick's future over the past month.
His status appeared to be secure in mid-February, when Marrone announced he informed Fitzpatrick and Jackson that he intended to have both compete for the starting job this offseason. The Bills' message was less definitive a little over a week later at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. That's where both Nix and team president Russ Brandon were evasive when discussing Fitzpatrick.
Already on their sixth coach since 2000, the Bills are in the midst of their latest quarterback shuffle. They've now had nine quarterbacks start at least eight games since Hall of Famer Jim Kelly retired after the 1996 season.
The Bills haven't had a winning season since going 9-7 in 2004. And they've gone 13 seasons without a playoff berth, the NFL's longest active drought.
Fitzpatrick took over the starting job three weeks into the 2010 season, after Trent Edwards was benched and then released a week later. Fitzpatrick was rewarded with his current contract while helping the Bills get off to a surprising 5-2 start a year later.
The Bills, however, unraveled by losing nine of their final 10 games, and went 6-10 again last year.
Not all the blame could be laid on Fitzpatrick, the Harvard graduate, who was selected in the seventh round by St. Louis in the 2005 draft.
In Buffalo, he joined Kelly last year in becoming only the second Bills quarterback to throw 24 touchdowns in three consecutive seasons. Fitzpatrick, however, could never erase questions about his inconsistency. In 55 games in Buffalo, he's thrown 80 touchdowns and 64 interceptions, including a career-worst 23 in 2011.
He finished his career in Buffalo ranking third on the team list in touchdowns, and fourth with 11,654 yards.
 

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