The questions have been floating around all offseason regarding what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would do at the backup quarterback position following the loss of Mike Glennon.

Though multiple people within the Bucs front office and coaching staff said they were happy with having both Ryan Griffin and Sean Renfree on the roster, we now know that the team has decided to add a veteran quarterback to that list in Ryan Fitzpatrick.

It has been reported that Fitzpatrick’s deal with the Bucs is for one year worth $3 million.

Fitzpatrick has truly been a journeyman of an NFL starter throughout his 12-year career.

He was drafted in the 7th round out of Harvard in 2005 as the No. 250 overall pick to the St. Louis Rams. In his debut game during his rookie season, coming in for the injured Jamie Martin, Fitzpatrick led the Rams from a 24–3 halftime deficit to a 33–27 overtime win, throwing for 310 yards and three touchdowns, completing 63.3% of his passes and 117.4 QB rating for the game. He was one of only seven players in NFL history to throw for 300 yards in their debut at the time.

In 2007, Fitzpatrick was traded to the Bengals for a seventh round pick, however, he was nothing more than a backup to Carson Palmer during his time there.

The following year, in 2009, Fitzpatrick signed with the Buffalo Bills. When starter, Trent Edwards, went down with an injury, Fitzpatrick got the nod, and would be named the full-time starter shortly after. In his four years in Buffalo, Fitzpatrick threw for over 10,000 yards with three, 3,000-yard seasons. However, he was never able to get his team a winning record.

In 2013, Fitzpatrick opted to sign with the Tennessee Titans and once again replaced the quarterback ahead of him in Jake Locker. However, he was released by the team later that offseason.

In 2014, he signed a two-year deal with the Houston Texans to battle for the starting job with Ryan Mallett. Fitzpatrick initially won the job, but was then replaced, only to be named the starter again after Mallett struggled. Fitzpatrick had a 6-6 record as a quarterback that season, and a career-high passer rating of 95.3.

In 2015, Fitzpatrick was traded form Houston to the New York Jets for a late-round conditional pick. After starting quarterback, Geno Smith, broke his jaw in a locker room fight, Fitzpatrick was named the starter. During that season, he led the Jets to a 10-6 record. He threw for 3,905 passing yards and 31 passing touchdowns along with 15 interceptions.

Fitzpatrick was a spot starter for the Jets in 2016 after signing a one-year deal. He was replaced by Bryce Petty, but then regained the starting spot after an injury. Following the 2016 season, he went un-signed by the Jets.

Fitzpatrick brings a veteran presence to the quarterback position that not many players have in the NFL, not even the ones with long careers. That becomes especially important when you think that current Bucs backup Griffin has never taken a snap in a regular season NFL game, and that Renfree attempted just seven passes on two seasons with Atlanta.

Fitzpatrick knows what it’s like to fight for a starting spot no matter where he goes, and should, in theory, be able to push young Jameis Winston, teaching him plenty of situational advice as well as be a good safety value to have in case Winston goes down with a short-term injury.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
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STULAAKE
STULAAKE
5 years ago

BRILLIANT MOVE!

Bucco63
Bucco63
5 years ago

GREAT MOVE!

bEubanks11
bEubanks11
5 years ago

Solid! He’s a gunslinger and a great locker room guy. Perfect fit here, love this move.

Patrick J Ellsworth
Patrick J Ellsworth
5 years ago

In the post-draft days I’ve been wanting him more than ANY FA out there!! Great move!

tpeluso
tpeluso
5 years ago

What took so long? Was calling for his signing months ago, he was clearly the best of the backup QBs out there.

makski
makski
Reply to  tpeluso
5 years ago

What took so long is that he wanted a chance to be a starter, at least in a battle to win a job, but he obviously got no offers for a shot at a starter. Good news is, he picked the Bucs as the best place to be a back-up. Hope it all works out well. I have liked him all off-season long also, wanted the Bucs to get him early until I heard he wanted to be a starter. Glad he is finally here !!!

tpeluso
tpeluso
Reply to  makski
5 years ago

He had to know between the crash-burn in New York last season and his age that being a starter wasn’t going to be in the cards for him… Maybe it was a money thing?

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
5 years ago

Is Griffin in danger of not sticking as the #3?

magoobee
magoobee
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0
5 years ago

Yep

owlykat
owlykat
5 years ago

This is a big upgrade over the albatross Glennon. Fitzpatrick is not a Franchise QB and no threat to Jameis, but if Jameis should get hurt, Fitzpatrick will still give us at least a chance to get to the playoffs.

macabee
macabee
5 years ago

I agree with this move. Gains experience (played and won NFL games), no threat to Winston, and saves a roster spot! And on a side note, we now have the most Harvard graduates in the NFL – not bad! lol.

macabee
macabee
Reply to  macabee
5 years ago

Adam Schefter‏Verified account @AdamSchefter 6m6 minutes ago
More
Buccaneers are giving former Jets’ QB Ryan Fitzpatrick a one-year, $3 million deal, per source.

martinii
martinii
Reply to  macabee
5 years ago

mac:
when you say “saves a roster spot,” do you mean the Buc’s would go with 2 QB’s this year?

macabee
macabee
Reply to  martinii
5 years ago

Martinii, That’s my opinion. NFL teams don’t typically carry 3 QBs unless there are extenuating circumstances like not having a dependable starting QB (Lovie Smith’s reason 2014) or you have a good back-up QB in a contract year that may leave (Dirk Koetter’s reason 2016). With a franchise QB and an experienced back-up QB that should not be necessary. 53 roster positions will be at a premium this year at TE, WR, and RB. If Griffen is PS eligible, there shouldn’t be as much fear of losing him with the possibility that Glennon may be back on the market in… Read more »

magoobee
magoobee
Reply to  macabee
5 years ago

After these QBs make it through preseason, they should be cut. No team is going to pick up QBs with no experience. They will be available if Winston goes down to back-up Fitz. Every team has a few of these throwing arms that could be resigned if needed.

76Buc
76Buc
Reply to  macabee
5 years ago

I like the idea of having a smart team…Ala Pats.

magoobee
magoobee
Reply to  macabee
5 years ago

Collecting smart players is a New England move.

SaskBucs
SaskBucs
5 years ago

Perfect. Hopefully a veteran presence helps Winston reign in his emotions a bit. The entire team and us fans should rest easier now.

Iowabucfan
Iowabucfan
5 years ago

Solid. I am loving what the Bucs have done this off-season. Go Bucs!

chetthevette
chetthevette
5 years ago

3 million bucks. What a deal. Licht is a black clad ninja for sure.
GO BUCS

Horse
Horse
5 years ago

Well it’s better than what we had before this signing, but if Winston is injured I think we are still in exactly the same situation as before.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  Horse
5 years ago

I disagree, Horse. Fitz has proven he can win a bunch of NFL games, the other backups have not only not won games but havent even taken a snap yet in a game that ciunts.

This is a very big upgrade and about as good as it gets with backup qbs, for a bargain price.

makski
makski
Reply to  Naplesfan
5 years ago

Totally agree Naplesfan. C’mon Horse, you have to admit he is a much better fill in back-up QB than Renfree or Griffin. Has experience and is a smart guy, should even be able to help Winston out much more than Glennon with all of his experience on multiple teams.

chetthevette
chetthevette
5 years ago

I would bet that the BUCS are the only team to have 2 eggheads from Harvard on the same team.
At the least Brate will have someone to talk to.
GO BUCS

Brandonges
Brandonges
5 years ago

Great move. This is the type of backup a team with a young franchise QB needs, someone with experience. No use in grooming someone like Griffin as a QB of the future

martinii
martinii
5 years ago

I totally agree with move. Been concerned about back-up position since Glennon Departure. Now I have another question. Do we really need 3 roster QB’s? Seems like an extra RB, WR, DE, S would be a more coveted roster spot. Of course this concern is coming from a guy who thinks a LS is a wasted position. When you have 9-10 OL why can’t they teach one to Snap the ball. All I hear is how we cross train all our OL at center.

76Buc
76Buc
Reply to  martinii
5 years ago

LS is not a wasted position. I wanted to draft the FSU long snapper in the 2nd round.

revfish
revfish
Reply to  76Buc
5 years ago

that is funny

CrustyClam
CrustyClam
5 years ago

Good move. Good veteran QB to get us out of a jam if needed.

cgmaster27
cgmaster27
5 years ago

Great signing. Could pass some of that sage like advice to Jameis and provide a veteran presence behind him. He could get you through a game or two in a pinch as well. I feel much better about our backup spot now. I mean let’s face it, if Jameis gets in injured, we’re screwed no matter who’s back there. And for cheap as well I see. Good move by Licht.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
5 years ago

Great move, this is a quarterback who has proven he can win multiple games in the NFL, much more than Mike Glennon or any others on the roster now but for Jameis. He can help Jameis, and if Jameis goes down for a few games all is not lost. And the price is a bargain compared to what the Bucs offered, and what the Bears paid, to Mike Glennon.

Jason Light is doing a great job this year!

magoobee
magoobee
Reply to  Naplesfan
5 years ago

The Glennon deal makes sense to the Bears but not the Bucs. Remember the Glennon deal is really only a 1 year deal if he stinks. If he plays well, years 2 & 3 are cheap and makes him very tradeable if Trubisky is the real deal.

surferdudes
5 years ago

What would be great is if one of the young Q.B.’s looks better in preseason. We carried 3 last year, we might do the same.

Morgan
Morgan
5 years ago

Happy to see the move. The season won’t be a total loss if Winston goes down. Bucs don’t need to groom anyone other than Winston right now. Hopefully Fitzpatrick will sit the bench the whole season……but now the preseason games will have a little more interest where he’ll play.

ayron54
ayron54
5 years ago

2 Harvard alum on the roster now! Lol another fantastic move by the front office!!

fredster
fredster
5 years ago

Great move. Not sure what happens after the 1 year but if Winston goes down we have chance to win some games still.

magoobee
magoobee
5 years ago

As the resident Licht critic, I will say this is a smart signing……..IF…. as Mac said this saves a roster spot on the Practice Squad. The chance of a Practice Squad QB becoming a starter is ZERO PERCENT and almost zero to even being a back-up. The position most likely to be a starter or make the 53 man roster from the Practice Squad is Running Back. On the Bucs that extra position being a developmental OL or TE (Antony Auclair), makes this an excellent signing. Remember, Licht was happy with the QB situation before this signing. Now do you… Read more »

scubog
scubog
5 years ago

Holly Smokes! I can’t believe all of the Pewter Report family of commenters are in agreement. If Fitz understands and accepts his role, then he might just be able to finish his career as a Buc. Back-up QB is a pretty sweet gig.

surferdudes
5 years ago

Can’t believe we got him so cheap when you consider what McCown still gets paid. Fitz is just what we need for a back up, glad he’s come to the realization that’s all he’ll ever be. He looked foolish last year holding out on the Jets looking to be paid as a top Q.B.. Hopefully we never see him play a meaning full game.

magoobee
magoobee
Reply to  surferdudes
5 years ago

Big difference the Jets expect McCown to be a starter. At $6 mil a year, that is dirt cheap for a starting QB.

You have to assume the Jets just want a top 3 pick next year, McCown should be able to accomplish that.

CDNBUCSFAN
CDNBUCSFAN
5 years ago

This is a great move and the money on it is smart too. I’m way more comfortable with Fitzy as the backup than Glennon. Plus Fitzy comes at a price FAR less than what they offered Glennon prior to his jump to the Bears. I don’t blame Glennon at all and I’ll always remember the big win in Steeltown that he pulled off, but he was never a regular starter, and Fitzy was. I’m really liking the offseason moves so far, and there will be more to come before the season starts. Looking forward to the season!

plopes808
plopes808
5 years ago

Another great move this off season! While I wouldn’t be comfortable with Fitz as a starter, he is definitely a good “bang for your buck” option at backup at a little over half the price we offered Glennon. Our team has definitely improved across the board this offseason and I’m primed for the playoffs!

Horse
Horse
5 years ago

Okay, I see most responses as to why this was a good pick up; I now agree as it does make the most sense.

plopes808
plopes808
Reply to  Horse
5 years ago

I really hope I don’t end up eating these words but…think of it this way, how can any half decent QB not do decent throwing to Evans, DJax, Howard, and Brate? Personally I think Fitz is a little better than half decent and has shown starter potential in the past with less weapons.

makski
makski
Reply to  plopes808
5 years ago

I could be wrong, and someone will correct me if I am, but I think Fitz had some of his better seasons throwing to either Decker( VERY Evans-like), or a healthy Watkins( big WR but never healthy). That to me is a good sign. He has prior experience throwing to big-bodied WR’s. That should only help him in Tampa. Go Bucs!!!