Saturday, March 25, 2023

FitzMagic run out: Travelman QB, 39, is retiring

BUFFALO, NY ( Associated Press) – FitzMagic has ended.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is retiring, he confirmed to The Associated Press in a text message Friday, ending a career that spanned 17 seasons and nine teams and made him one of the NFL’s most colorful and beloved flyers. .

It was a career of perseverance in which Fitzpatrick never settled for being the backup. With playful determination and a flashy style reflected by his unruly beard, the Harvard-picked seventh-round draftsman overcame his physical limitations and modest college roots to become the first player in the NFL to score five different goals in a single game. Throws four touchdown passes with a separate. Team.

Chan Geely, who coached Fitzpatrick at three different stops, called Fitzpatrick’s leadership ability “the best I’ve been around”.

“He’s a fierce competitor. He’s extremely smart. So he had answers for the players. And the players always respect someone who has the answers,” said Galli. “But he never had that right on them.” Not that he was smarter than everyone else. He was humble smart. ,

Fitzpatrick informed former teammates of his decision on Thursday, and the former Buffalo Bills were the first to drive back Fred Jackson. reveal on twitter That the veteran QB planned to retire. Jackson shared a photo from Fitzpatrick with the names of hundreds of teammates, along with the message: “Always grateful for the magical ride.”

Jackson replied, writing: “Congratulations on a helluva career, FitzY!! Nice to share the field with you!! Gratitude is all mine!!”

39-year-old Fitzpatrick’s last stop was in Washington. Named the first starter last season, he suffered a hip injury in the team’s season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Chargers and never returned to the field.

One flaw on his career: Fitzpatrick never made the playoffs. He came closest in 2015 with the New York Jets, who were thrown out of contention when he threw three-quarter interceptions in a season-ending 22-17 loss at Buffalo., The Jets finished that season 10–6, with Fitzpatrick under center the best record for a team.

Galley was the Jets’ offensive coordinator that year and played the same role in 2020 when Fitzpatrick was in Miami. He led the Dolphins to a 3–3 start and lost the opening job to rookie Tua Tagovailoa.

“He deserves better than he got. He never made the playoffs. I hate it for him. It ate me up,” said Galli. “And I thought we were going to make it to Miami. He had prepared that team to explode, and a change of quarterback was made. I hated him. I actually did. But he handled it with class the same way he handled everything else with class.”

Fitzpatrick finished 2005 with a 59–87–1 record as a starter in a career starting with St. Louis in Cincinnati, Tennessee, Houston and Tampa Bay, among other stops. For a player who initially considered a job on Wall Street more likely than playing the NFL down, Fitzpatrick career lists as 32nd with 34,990 yards, 36th with 223 touchdown passes and 169 interceptions. ranked 49th.

Always considered a backup, Fitzpatrick became the starter for every team – whether by injury or performance.

This also included Buffalo, where Fitzpatrick replaced Trent Edwards as starter in 2010. That’s when he picked up the Fitzmagic nickname to lead a non-named Galli-coached team to a 5–2 start in 2011. The bills were eventually demolished and the 6 ended. -10.

He was praised for the connections he made with teammates and his background, and for his daring – and sometimes careless – style, allowing him to throw game-deciding touchdown passes or game-turning interceptions. was likely.

“I’ve always relied on the abstract side of things and I think it shows in my play, but sometimes it’s a real positive and sometimes it’s a negative,” he said with Houston in 2014. . “It’s something I fight for to this day to be a more consistent and efficient quarterback.”

Although Fitzpatrick was cut by the Bills after the 2012 season, Buffalo remained close to his heart. He was famously caught on video shirtless in dire circumstances while cheering the Bills to a 47-17 win over New England in the AFC wild-card playoff in January.

“I take a lot of pride in the work I’ve done in a game or a season. That’s why I’ve stuck around for so long. It has nothing to do with my talent. You know, my talent barely got me through the seventh round. Drafted in,” he said in 2016.

“So when I’m done, I don’t sit back and look at stats and wins and losses and all that,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s really playing and earning the respect of my teammates that I value the most.”


Associated Press Pro Football Writers Dennis Waszak Jr. and Rob Maddi contributed to this report.


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