Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Bucs sign Ryan Fitzpatrick as National Football League teams continue to avoid Colin Kaepernick

Bucs sign Ryan Fitzpatrick as National Football League teams continue to avoid Colin Kaepernick

Fitzpatrick is familiar with the backup role, but he's always made it clear he sees himself as an National Football League starter.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed former Buffalo Bills and New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. To make room on the 90-man offseason roster, the Buccaneers have waived quarterback Sean Renfree. Fitzpatrick wanted to cash in on his big season, while the Jets wanted to see if it was a flash in the pan year. He led the Jets to a 10-win campaign two years ago, then he held out before receiving a one-year, $10 million deal to return to NY. Fitzpatrick was not re-signed following a 5-11 season.

Fitzpatrick has a career record of 46-69-1 as a starter.

Despite the struggles last season, Fitzpatrick provides a strong backup option and veteran presence to starter Jameis Winston, who's coming off a career year in the NFL.

Technically, Fitzpatrick became a free agent on February 10, when his contract automatically voided. According to Pro Football Focus' Sam Monson, that game earned Fitzpatrick the worst game grade by a quarterback in the site's history.

Fitzpatrick played in 14 games for the New York Jets last season, finishing with 2,710 passing yards and 12 touchdowns to 17 interceptions. The front office sought to give Winston a greater array of explosive targets during the offseason, adding free agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson and drafting tight end O.J. Howard in the first round and wide receiver Chris Godwin in the third round. If history repeats itself, that means he'll start at least one of the Bucs' games this season.

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