Record Breaking Ex-Jets QB Is Retiring After 17 Seasons: Report

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets

Getty A pair of former New York Jets quarterbacks hanging out before an NFL game.

A polarizing former New York Jets quarterback is finally deciding to hang up his cleats.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is leaving the game of football. The news was first shared on social media by former NFL running back and ex-teammate of Fitzpatrick, Fred Jackson, who shared a screenshot of a text conversation with “Fitzy”.

The text message included a photo that seems to have every teammate Fitzpatrick has ever played with listed and included the caption, “forever grateful for the magical ride.”

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What a Crazy Run

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The 39-year-old ended up playing 17 seasons for nine different NFL organizations:

  • St. Louis Rams (2005-06)
  • Cincinnati Bengals (2007-08)
  • Buffalo Bills (2009-12)
  • Tennessee Titans (2013)
  • Houston Texans (2014)
  • Jets (2015-16)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2017-18)
  • Miami Dolphins (2019-20)
  • Washington Commanders (2021)

Although the best single-season he ever had came during his time with the Jets back in 2015.

After Geno Smith got sucker-punched by IK Enemkpali, Fitzpatrick was thrust into the starting lineup and the rest was history:

  • 3,905 passing yards
  • 31 touchdowns to 15 interceptions
  • 10-6 record

For context that is the second-most passing yards in a Jets single-season ever only behind Joe Namath. Fitzpatrick’s 31 passing touchdowns are the most that any Jets quarterback has ever thrown and he is the only Gang Green quarterback that has ever thrown 30 or more passing touchdowns in a single season.

A Complicated Legacy

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Fitzpatrick delivered an unforgettable record-breaking season.

On top of Fitz’s amazing play, several other players delivered career performances for the Jets. None more special than WR1 Brandon Marshall who came out of nowhere to deliver:

  • 109 catches
  • 1,508 receiving yards
  • 14 touchdowns

Additionally, the Jets had another 1,000-yard receiver in Eric Decker. They had a 1,000-yard rusher in Chris Ivory. On defense, they had a double-digit sack artist in Muhammad Wilkerson.

None of those marks have been touched since. There has been a 7-plus year drought at wide receiver, running back, and pass rusher at those critical statistical benchmarks.

Although that isn’t the complicated part of the legacy, it is how things ended.

The Jets were 10-5, on a five-game winning streak, and to make the playoffs all they had to do was beat the Buffalo Bills on the road in Week 17.

It was a classic win and you’re in scenario. The Jets had everything to play for as the hottest team in football and the Bills at 7-8 had nothing but pride to play for.

Yet the Bills were able to play spoiler winning 22-17 and forced Fitzpatrick into three fourth-quarter interceptions that doomed the green and white.

All of the wind went out of the sails and the Jets’ magical run came to a screeching halt. Fitzpatrick would return in 2016 after a tense contractual holdout over the Summer, but things were never the same.

He went 3-8 the next season as a starter and threw more interceptions (17) than touchdowns (12). It was a horrific season and left a terrible taste in the mouths of Jets fans everywhere on the Fitzpatrick experience.

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