When the Bills made the decision to lockup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to a seven-year, $62 million contract after only a 4-2 start to the 2011 season, it was met with some warranted concern. Since then, Fitzpatrick has lead them to a 5 – 12 record that was highlighted by a completed unacceptable interception that cost them a win over the Titans.
Bills GM Buddy Nix seemed to suggest that the decision to give Fitzpatrick a long-term deal was a mistake.
“Listen, we have said from day one, that we want to draft a good young quarterback,” said Nix, via WGR 550 Buffalo. “I don’t want to leave here without a franchise guy for the future in place. I have not said that before but I’m saying it now because it’s fact.”
This doesn’t bode well for Fitzpatrick’s chances of finishing out the duration of his contract. He’ll have a base salaries of $4.25 million in 2013 and $4.35 million in 2014. During these year’s he will also have $3 million roster bonuses, so the team will have to decide whether or not he’s worth the addition sum money. In 2015, his salary spikes to $7.2 million and increases to $8.75 million in 2016 and $9.45 million in 2017. There’s very little chance that he sees any of the last three salaries.
It seems as though the Bills will at least consider drafting a quarterback in the first-round of next year’s draft.
Nix assured fans that finding a new quarterback would not be considered starting over for his regime. “Listen, we have said from day one, that we want to draft a good young quarterback,” Nix explained. “I don’t want to leave here without a franchise guy for the future in place. I have not said that before but I’m saying it now because it’s fact.” It’s a pretty damning statement that the organization no longer views Fitzpatrick as the answer at QB. His accuracy comes and goes, and the offense has been limited primarily to throws within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Opposing coaches now know to follow Rex Ryan’s blueprint of sitting on shallow routes and crowding the line of scrimmage.