Ryan Fitzpatrick’s career has been a long and winding road. Selected by the then St. Louis Rams with the sixth from bottom pick of the 2005 NFL Draft, Fitzpatrick didn’t become a regular starter until his fourth year, and even then it was only due to an injury. In the early to mid-2010s, he moved to several teams and, depending on the year, alternated between being a starter and backup.
Now, before the 17th season of his career, Fitzpatrick has finally found his ideal landing spot.
“This is the best situation I’ve ever been in or the best situation I’ve ever gone into as the guy,” Fitzpatrick said during an appearance on the ESPN Daily podcast. “I signed as a starter in Houston, I signed as a starter in Miami, so this is the third team I’ve signed for to be the starter. I just feel like I have the last Played for four years, a kind of advancement in my career, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense that after 17 years I feel great physically, mentally and emotionally, I’m in the right place I think I’m ready for success this year and I’m looking forward to it very much on it. “
It’s hard not to agree with him. Fitzpatrick joins an offensive coordinated by Scott Turner, whose system emphasizes both the types of short, quick, and accurate passes that Fitzpatrick has shown, as well as the types of downfield shots he likes to incorporate into his game. He also has Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Logan Thomas and Antonio Gibson as his main weapons, which is a dramatic upgrade from what he planned to do in Miami last season.
He has had a strong season with the Dolphins in which he was able to delay Tua Tagovailoa longer than expected due to his strong game. It also proved a valuable backup plan when the Dolphins had to add an explosion to their offensive late that year. Now, for the first time in over five years, he’s starting the season as a supposed starter.
“The other important point in my career when there was a transition was after my 2016 year with the Jets, which was miserable and the first time in my life that I hated football and just didn’t want to play anymore,” said Fitzpatrick the podcast. “Since then it’s been like playing with borrowed time. I’ve really enjoyed the last four. Hopefully everyone on the field saw that for me, from some of the goofy things and the interviews. My personality changed in the last four really stood out. “
It’s sad to hear that Fitzpatrick wasn’t having fun in 2016, but he’s certainly gotten a little more out of his shell in recent years. He seemed comfortable and comfortable with his skills and place in the league, and Washington is clearly comfortable this season when he’s below the middle.