"Fitzmagic" fizzled before it started in D.C.
But will America's favorite journeyman quarterback resurface in a TV broadcast booth in 2022?
Ryan Fitzpatrick signed a one-year, $10 million contract last Spring, with the intention of being the starting quarterback for the Washington Football Team. That experiment lasted all of six passes before the veteran suffered a hip injury in the season opener that eventually required season-ending surgery.
So ... now what?
True to his wacky persona, Fitzpatrick showed up at the Jan. 15 Bills-Patriots playoff game. Shirtless, of course. In temperatures that hovered around zero.
Fitzpatrick almost certainly won't be back in Washington, hence the one-year contract. While Taylor Heinicke alternated flashes of brilliance with careless mistakes during a disappointing 7-10 season, WFT owns the No. 11 overall pick in April and most mock drafts have them on the hunt for a franchise quarterback such as Ole Miss' Matt Corral to Liberty's Malik Willis or even Pitt's Kenny Pickett.
Meanwhile, after playing for nine teams over 17 seasons and coming off major hip surgery, the 39-year-old Fitzpatrick will become a free agent. He could have suitors - like Washington a year ago - seeking a savvy veteran or ...
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CBS play-by-play voice Jim Nantz says Fitzpatrick's knowledge and charisma will make him a natural fit in the TV booth when and if he's ready.
"I’ve always said that is a guy that will be, if he wants to be, a great piece of television talent down the road,” Nantz said on this week's Sports Illustrated media podcast. "That’s there if he wants it. I would definitely make a run at him if somebody ever asked me. Maybe there’s something else he wants to do, but the thing is he is very real and that is a quality that’s worth a lot.”
Nantz, like the rest of us, got a kick out of seeing Fitzpatrick with the "Bills Mafia".
"What he did was one of the great validations for us fans that these guys actually care. We always want them to be one of us and we know they are getting paid a lot of money to play these games and play for our team, but do they really care? What does it mean to them? There’s something about him. I’ve gotten to know him virtually every stop along the way in his NFL career and maybe he’s not even finished playing, but he wasn’t doing that to try to generate attention. He probably didn’t know the guy who shot that was going to post it. That’s Ryan Fitzpatrick. He has always had a way with a sense of humor and a way with phrasing things.
"There he is, sub-zero wind chill factor, shirtless, man of the people, sitting in the stands cheering full-throated lustily for the Bills. That felt good. The fan side of me loved it. I just thought it said so much about him.
“I don’t know what his second act is going to be, but I am going to predict it’s going to be huge.”