Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was the fan-favorite choice to rejoin the team following backup Mitch Trubisky’s exit this offseason, revealed a huge decision about his NFL career via a text to former teammate, Fred Jackson.
Jackson, former legendary Bills running back, tweeted out the following message from the 39-year-old quarterback, “Congrats on a Helluva career, Fitzy!! Loved sharing the field with you!! The gratitude is all mine!! #BillsMafia #fitzmagic.”
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Fitz, who was originally drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft, and played in the league for 17 years for nine different teams, created a graphic of all his former teammates’ names and texted Jackson, “Forever grateful for the magical ride.”
Fitzpatrick played for Buffalo between 2009 and 2012. During his final season with the Bills, he threw for 3,400 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions, per Pro Football Reference. He also played for the Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, and the Washington Commanders.
PFF reporter Arie Meirov Fitzpatrick confirmed the news on Twitter: “Veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is retiring from the NFL after 17 seasons. Threw for 34,990 passing yards and 223 TDs after coming into the league as a 7th-round pick out of Harvard. Gave fans some of the most memorable moments on and off the field. Heck of a career, Fitzmagic.”
Former Bills Pro Bowl center Eric Wood tweeted, “Congrats Fitz on an amazing career. One of my favorite teammates I’ve ever had. You always did it the right way and that’s why every teammate you’ve ever had loved every second of playing with you. Enjoy What’s Next!!”
WGR 550, the official Bills radio station, tweeted, “Former Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick looks to be calling it a career. Spectrum News 1 reporter Jon Scott tweeted, “yan Fitzpatrick’s calling it a career. Wish I had the chance to cover him, but still awesome watching from afar.”
Numerous NFL Analysts Believe Fitzpatrick Will Pivot to Broadcasting
While players, analysts, and fans filled Twitter with heartfelt messages about the Harvard graduate officially hanging up his cleats, it seems he won’t be away from our TVs for long.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport insinuated that the veteran quarterback may be in the mix to become a commentator. Rapoport tweeted, “A hip injury shortened his final year, but Ryan Fitzpatrick heads into retirement with some incredible moments and memories. And… I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him 📺.”
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero also confirmed Fitzpatrick’s retirement news. He tweeted, “Ryan Fitzpatrick hangs it up after 17 NFL seasons, with broadcasting quite likely in his future.”
Rumored Reports of Fitzpatrick’s Possible Retirement Swirled This Offseason
To have Fitzpatrick back in the mix in the twilight of his career during a season for which the Bills are highly expected to make it to the Super Bowl, sounded like a fairy tale situation.
While much of Bills Mafia wanted Fitzmagic back in Buffalo as a backup before the team ultimately traded for Case Keenum, NFL analysts believed he would either land somewhere where he could continue to be a starting quarterback, and if he couldn’t, would turn toward retirement.
SB Nation’s Bruce Nolan tweeted on March 4, “I don’t think Ryan Fitzpatrick is coming to Buffalo with his shirt on in 2022. I’ll take the L if he comes as a backup, but I would very highly doubt it. He’s mentioned he doesn’t need to do it anymore and only wants to sign somewhere if he can play.”
Yahoo! Sports! Liz Roscher wrote in December, “So where does Fitzpatrick go next? At this point, it’s hard to tell. There’s almost always a team that needs a QB like him: an experienced veteran who can help the young guys while giving a solid (and sometimes inconsistent) performance. That’s not a knock on Fitzpatrick — teams genuinely need quarterbacks like him, or else he wouldn’t have been able to last nearly 20 years in the NFL.
As for possible retirement, “Fitzpatrick hasn’t given any indication that he’s planning to or even wants to, but the facts are what they are: he’s 39 and has seven kids,” Roscher continued. “After spending almost the entire season off the field, he could decide that’s where he wants to stay. But hopefully, after such a disappointing season, Fitzmagic will return to give his NFL career a proper finale.”