Broncos Should Sign 17-Year Veteran QB

Broncos Ryan Fitzpatrick

Getty QB Ryan Fitzpatrick jogs off the field.

One remaining need on the Denver Broncos‘ depth chart is backup quarterback. Currently, the Broncos have only two quarterback options behind Russell Wilson: Josh Johnson and Brett Rypien.

Johnson actually played well in limited action for the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens last season. Across four games, he threw for 638 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions. Still, he was 0-2 as the primary quarterback last season.

Rypien signed with the Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2019. Rypien has seen the field sparingly, and he has not done enough to cement himself as the team’s backup quarterback moving forward. For his career, Rypien has completed 27 out of 40 pass attempts for two touchdowns and four interceptions.

Johnson has shown flashes of quality quarterback play, and he could be a solid backup option. Still, Wilson missed three games last season, and if Wilson misses any time this season, the Broncos need to have a good quarterback to stay afloat in the loaded AFC playoff race.

The Broncos have already explored adding another quarterback to the roster. They previously invited undrafted free agent quarterback Eric Barriere Jr. to rookie minicamp. However, Barriere left rookie minicamp without a contract and joined the USFL.

A few notable names remain available on the free-agent market, including Cam Newton and Josh Rosen. However, one name stands out as a potential steal: Ryan Fitzpatrick.

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Fitzpatrick Played at a High Level With the Dolphins

Fitzpatrick has had a strange career. He has played for nine different NFL teams. Early in his career, he struggled with turnovers; he led the NFL in interceptions in 2011 (23).

However, he continued to get better as the years progressed. One could argue he played the best football of his career with the Miami Dolphins in 2019 and 2020.

Fitzpatrick posted the three highest PFF grades of his career in 2018, 2019, and 2020. During that span, he was also the 15th-highest-graded quarterback in the NFL per PFF.

Fitzpatrick’s play made a big impact on the Dolphins in 2020. With Fitzpatrick in the lineup, their offense averaged 253 passing yards per game and 1.67 passing touchdowns per game.

Without Fitzpatrick in the lineup, those metrics fell to 237.1 passing yards per game and 1.29 passing touchdowns per game.

He also showcased surprising mobility with the Dolphins.

In fact, Fitzpatrick actually led the Dolphins in rushing yards in 2019.

Fitzpatrick Could Be a Great Value Signing

Following his stint with the Dolphins, Fitzpatrick signed a one-year deal with the Washington Commanders. Unfortunately, he suffered a season-ending hip injury in Week 1.

Fitzpatrick is 39 years old and coming off a major injury, so I do not expect him to command a big contract.

When healthy, he has played at an above-average level for the last few years. He undoubtedly has a higher ceiling than Johnson or Rypien.

On a one-year deal, it is a smart gamble.

Getting an experienced, battle-tested quarterback like Fitzpatrick behind Wilson would be a good move.

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