Ryan Fitzpatrick grabbed a chair in this offseason’s game of quarterback musical chairs.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to terms with the veteran quarterback, the team announced Friday. Fitzpatrick’s one-year deal is worth $3 million in base salary and comes with incentives to take that number higher, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source involved.
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times first reported the news.
The Bucs were in need of a veteran behind starter Jameis Winston. They entered offseason workouts with Ryan Griffin, Sean Renfree and undrafted rookie Sefo Liufau as their backups. Griffin has never taken a regular-season snap, and Renfree threw a total of seven passes in two appearances with Atlanta in 2015.
Tampa couldn’t head into 2017 without replacing Mike Glennon with an insurance plan in case Winston suffers an injury. The Bucs are poised to battle for a playoff spot this season — and could be a trendy pick to swipe the NFC South. Adding Fitzpatrick at least provides an experienced signal-caller if something catastrophic happens to Winston.
Fitzpatrick also brings an experienced tutor to the Bucs’ QB room. Tampa will be the 34-year-old nomad’s seventh team in 13 seasons. When last we saw him with the New York Jets in 2016, Fitzmagic was throwing costly interceptions and cratering after a splendid 2015 season.
Regardless of his rollercoaster play, Fitzpatrick is a better protection policy than the inexperienced QBs Tampa employed before Friday.