I don't think anyone has grasped how cool Ryan Fitzpatrick's journey has been. In his 17th season (and 9th team), Fitzmagic has been named QB1 for the nameless Washington Football Team. His iconic beard and 223 career touchdown passes (35th on the NFL all-time list) were certain to earn him another opportunity.
Fitzpatrick truly has done it all and lived more lives than most NFL players. The journey started at Harvard, where he studied economics and casually threw for 5,234 yards, 39 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions from 2001-2004. Not to mention his 1,487 yards with 16 scores on 365 carries. He took home some hardware, winning the Ivy League Championship, the Player of the Year, and All-Ivy League in his senior season. Oh yeah, he also completed the Wonderlic test in 9 minutes scoring a 49, one shy of a perfect test.
He snuck into the draft in the 7th round by the St.Louis Rams. He started his rookie season as the third-string quarterback but some injuries paved his way to his NFL debut, which happened in Week 11, a game in which he led St. Louis to a comeback win in overtime.
Shortly after, he was shipped off to the Bengals, which is where he started to learns some ropes from another journeyman vet, Carson Palmer. He earned enough trust to then go to the Bills, where he had four years of quality playing time, two of those years being day one starters. He then danced around, making stops at the Titans and Texans. His money season was with the Jets in 2015, where he threw for 3,905 yards and 31 touchdowns. He became the swag master in Tampa Bay, stealing the show with some DeSean Jackson shades and his own personal chest hairs. Then he became the ultimate mentor and teammate for promising young QB, Tua Tagovailoa on the Dolphins, nearly guiding them to the playoffs. It isn't the most prolific career, but it is notable and has created some all-time moments. It's an honest man's journey, that also includes over 34,000 passing yards.
As I said, he's done it all. He's been the fringe guy. The serviceable backup. The Hahvaad guy. The steezy beard guy. And the ultimate locker room guy. He is the definition of a gritty vet.
Completing the rainbow, the 38-year old gunslinger is lowkey the Shaq of the NFL. Not the ring aspect or playoff experience, just the colorful jersey collection, and television charisma.
It'll be interesting to see what he does this year. He's another year older, but Fitzpatrick seems to age like fine wine. He still has a deep ball and can scramble surprisingly well. Washington reached the playoffs last season with terrible quarterback play and a weak division. If Fitz can offer even the slightest improvement in that area, WFT is a team that can turn some heads. With Riverboat Ron Rivera at the helm, a top-tier defense in the making, and promising receiver Terry Mclaurin as a top option, the legacy of Fitzmagic is about to be a movie this season.