By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

Ryan Fitzpatrick – Signed by the Bills

The Bills used quite a few quarterbacks after the departure of Jim Kelly from the team almost 25 years ago. Many were forgettable. Ryan Fitzpatrick turned out, well, all right.

Fitzpatrick came into the league in 2005 from Harvard, and settled in as a respectable backup quarterback with the Cardinals and Bengals. He received playing time in 2008 in Cincinnati when Carson Palmer went down with an injury. Fitz’s timing was good, as he was set to become a free agent the following chance.

The Bills dropped J.P. Losman that spring and signed Fitzpatrick to provide some veteran help for Trent Edwards. When Edwards panned out, Fitzpatrick moved into the starter’s job – and stayed there for four years. He threw for more than 3,000 yards in that stretch, and signed a $59 million extension over six years along the way in 2011.

Fitzpatrick eventually showed that he probably wasn’t the quarterback who could lead the Bills to the Promised Land of the playoffs, and he was let go after the 2012 season. But he’s been a spot starter ever since with four other teams, playing for Miami in 2019. What’s more, few of his classmates probably have earned as much money as he has since graduation day.

Let’s meet him:

(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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