When you think of a journeyman backup, you think of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Miami came up just short of the playoffs this season. It remains to be seen if they want to keep Fitzpatrick around while Tua Tagovailoa develops. But Miami’s GM Chris Grier already started that Tua will be the starter for next season.
The 38-year-old Fitzpatrick has played for eight different teams across his 17-year career. And he’s only had one full winning season as a starter: in 2015 for the NY Jets. As a starter this year for Miami, he went 4-3.
But there’s a reason he’s called “Fitzmagic.”
Fitzpatrick is capable of coming off the bench and sparking his team to victory as he did in Week 16 to keep the Dolphin’s playoff chances alive. What’s more, the Harvard-educated Fitzpatrick has been in the league for nearly two decades, and certainly has obtained some wisdom to pass on.
Fitzpatrick is a cheaper but still comparable option. No one assumes he is a dual threat quarterback, but he’s rushed for over 100 yards in 14 of his 17 seasons.
That might not sound like much, but he’s cracked over 200 six times, and surpassed 300 once.
Consider his 2019 season to Brissett’s: Fitzpatrick rushed 54 times for 243 yards and four touchdowns. He ran for a first down in 16 of those rushes. He threw for 3,529 yards for 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Brissett is a more cautious quarterback, while Fitzpatrick made his name as a gunslinger. And this year, he was eight in the NFL for yards per pass attempt.
Fitzpatrick’s last contract was a two-year, $11 million with the Dolphins, meaning he was paid less for two years than what Brissett was paid for one. He’s certainly a more affordable backup.
But Fitzpatrick has learned to love the spotlight in his late-career resurgence. And if he thinks he can be better than Jones, which is a legitimate thought, he might do what he can to overtake the starting job.
Still, a gunslinger backup could be what the Giants need.