Fitzpatrick with the New York Jets in 2016
|No. 14 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
November 24, 1982 |
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||223 lb (101 kg)|
|High school:||Gilbert (AZ) Highland|
|NFL Draft:||2005 / Round: 7 / Pick: 250|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2017|
Ryan Joseph Fitzpatrick (born November 24, 1982) is an American football quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft and has also played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, and New York Jets. Fitzpatrick played college football at Harvard and was the first quarterback in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a career.
- 1 College career
- 2 Professional career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 References
- 5 External links
While a mathematics student at Harvard, Fitzpatrick had five starts during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, working as the backup for Neil Rose. In 2001, he amassed deep passing yards and a pair of touchdowns. He followed that in 2002 by collecting 1,155 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for five scores and 523 yards that year.
Fitzpatrick took over the starting job in 2003 following Rose's graduation. Fitzpatrick finished his junior campaign with 1,770 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions in seven games. Additionally, he ran for 430 yards and six rushing touchdowns, leading his team to a 7–3 record.
In 2004, Fitzpatrick earned Ivy League MVP honors (Asa S. Bushnell Cup), as he accumulated 1,986 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also led Harvard to a 10–0 record, thus winning the Ivy League Championship. He ranked second on the team with 448 rushing yards and five scores.
For his career, Fitzpatrick connected on 384 of 641 passes (59.9 percent) for 5,234 yards, 39 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He collected 1,487 yards with 16 scores on 365 carries (4.1 avg.) and totaled 6,721 yards, an average of 224.0 yards per game, while seeing action in 30 contests. He ranks second on Harvard's career list for pass completions, touchdowns, yards passing and pass completion percentage, topped only by Neil Rose (5,949 yards, 41 touchdowns, 455 completions, 62.4 percent, 1998–2002). His 641 pass attempts rank fourth in school history. His 1,006 total plays for 6,721 yards in total offense broke the old school career records of 1,005 plays by Mike Giardi (1991–93) and 6,519 yards by Rose.
As is the case for most incoming NFL rookies, Fitzpatrick took the Wonderlic Test. Rumors have indicated that Fitzpatrick recorded a 50 on the test in nine minutes, signifying a perfect score. However, according to a The Wall Street Journal report that appeared in the September 30, 2005, edition, Fitzpatrick scored a 48 on the exam, not a 50—still considered an exceptionally high score, but the claim that he completed the test in nine minutes is accurate. While his actual score is unknown, he has acknowledged that he left at least one question blank. As the Wonderlic score is the number of correct answers to 50 questions, the best he could have scored would be a 49. To date, Fitzpatrick has the highest Wonderlic Test score ever achieved among NFL quarterbacks. The only player to earn a verified perfect score on the Wonderlic test was also a Harvard graduate: wide receiver/punter Pat McInally, who played his entire career with the Cincinnati Bengals.
|Ht||Wt||40‑yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20‑ss||3‑cone||Vert jump||Broad||Wonderlic|
|6 ft 2 in
|4.86 s||1.67 s||2.81 s||4.07 s||7.09 s||30 1⁄2 in
|8 ft 9 in
|All from NFL Combine.|
St. Louis Rams
Fitzpatrick was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft with the 250th overall pick. He played his first NFL game on November 27, 2005. Coming into the eleventh game of the regular season in the second quarter against the Houston Texans to replace injured veteran journeyman Jamie Martin, Fitzpatrick led the Rams from a 24–3 halftime deficit to a 33–27 overtime win, throwing for 310 yards and three touchdowns, completing 63.3% of his passes and 117.4 QB rating for the game. This made Fitzpatrick one of only seven players who passed for more 300 yards in their NFL debut. The others were Otto Graham, 346 yards (1950); Ed Rubbert, 334 (a replacement player for the Washington Redskins during the 1987 strike); Mark Rypien, 303 (1988), Peyton Manning, 302 (1998), Cam Newton, 422 (2011), Robert Griffin III, 320 (2012), and Andrew Luck, 309 (2012). The win earned him the next three starts, making Fitzpatrick the first Harvard quarterback to start an NFL game. He was unable to duplicate his debut performance in the games he started with the Rams coming two weeks later in a 13–27 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in which he threw for 235 yards, no touchdowns, and five interceptions for a QB rating of 32.4 for the game. He was replaced by Martin after halftime the following week, after struggling in a home game against the Philadelphia Eagles in which he completed just 41.7% of his passes for a total of 69 yards.
In the 2006 season, Fitzpatrick only appeared in one game. In Week 17 against the Minnesota Vikings, he appeared late in the game in relief of Marc Bulger and ran out the clock of the 41–21 victory.
In the 2007 season, Fitzpatrick recorded no meaningful statistics in his third professional season.
A restricted free agent in the 2008 offseason, Fitzpatrick signed his one-year tender offer from the Bengals on April 17. Due to an injury to starting quarterback Carson Palmer, Fitzpatrick made his first Bengals start on September 28, 2008 against the Cleveland Browns. Fitzpatrick was not only the leading passer, but also the leading rusher in the Bengals' 20–12 loss. With Carson Palmer sitting out the game on October 12, 2008, Fitzpatrick got the start against the New York Jets, and every other game that season.
Fitzpatrick signed with the Buffalo Bills on February 27, 2009 to a 3-year $7.405 million contract. He made his first appearance on October 18, 2009 against the New York Jets when starter Trent Edwards went down with an injury, leading the Bills to a 16–13 overtime win, while throwing for 116 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Fitzpatrick started the following two games, resulting in a win over the Panthers and loss to the Texans.
On November 18, 2009, he was named the starting quarterback of the Buffalo Bills by interim head coach Perry Fewell who took over the coaching duties after former head coach Dick Jauron was fired. He went 3–3 as a starter under Fewell, throwing seven touchdowns, six interceptions and 1060 yards. Overall, Fitzpatrick went 5–4 in games in which he had a majority of the playing time for a team that finished with a 6–10 record. In week eleven of the 2009 season in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Fitzpatrick threw a 98-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens, the longest touchdown reception and pass for both Owens and Fitzpatrick, also setting the team record for longest touchdown pass. The Bills went on to lose to the Jaguars 18–15. Overall, in the 2009 season, Fitzpatrick finished with 1,422 passing yards, nine touchdowns, and ten interceptions.
Despite the strong showing, new head coach Chan Gailey decided to go with Trent Edwards as the starter for the 2010 season, relegating Fitzpatrick to the backup role. On September 20, 2010, Fitzpatrick was named the new starting quarterback following the Bills 0–2 start.
In a 49–31 comeback win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Fitzpatrick threw for 316 yards and 4 touchdowns, including 3 to Stevie Johnson. This performance marked the first time in NFL history that a team had come back from 17 points down to win by 18 or more.
During the second week of the 2011 season, Fitzpatrick led the Bills to touchdown drives on five straight possessions in the second half to rally past the Raiders. It was the first time in league history a team had scored offensive touchdowns on five straight possessions in the second half. In the 2011 season, Fitzpatrick was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September. On October 28, 2011, Fitzpatrick signed a six-year, $59 million contract extension including a $10 million signing bonus with the Bills. He had three 300-yard performances in the 2011 season, with a season high 369 yards vs. the Patriots. After the 2011 season, it was revealed that Fitzpatrick had broken his ribs in a game against the Washington Redskins, which was presumably a factor in his decline in play over the rest of the season. Fitzpatrick finished the 2011 season with 3,832 yards and 24 touchdowns, but threw a league-leading 23 interceptions.
Fitzpatrick returned as the Bills' starter during the 2012 season, throwing for 3,400 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. Following Chan Gailey's firing after the season, the Bills opted not to hold on to Fitzpatrick, releasing him on March 12, 2013.
On March 18, 2013, Fitzpatrick signed a two-year contract with the Tennessee Titans. He replaced Jake Locker for the Titans in Week 4 due to an injury in the third quarter. Fitzpatrick completed 3 of his 8 passes for 108 yards, which included a 77-yard TD pass to Nate Washington, in a 38–13 win against the Jets.
Fitzpatrick played in 11 games and started 9 of them. He finished the season with a 3–6 record as the starting quarterback, beating division rivals the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans in the final two games of the season. He completed the season throwing for 2,454 yards with 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
On March 18, 2014, Fitzpatrick signed a two-year contract with the Houston Texans. He was named the Texans' starting quarterback by new Head Coach Bill O'Brien on June 17, but was demoted to second on the Houston Texans depth chart on November 5, 2014, replaced as starter by Ryan Mallett.
On November 23, 2014 Mallett tore his pectoral muscle and Fitzpatrick was renamed the starter. On November 30, 2014 in a 45–21 win against the Tennessee Titans, Fitzpatrick threw for a franchise-record six touchdowns and 358 yards with no interceptions and a 147.5 passer rating.
On December 14, 2014 during the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts, Fitzpatrick scrambled for a two-yard gain, was tripped up, and ended up with a fractured tibia, ending his season. He was replaced by rookie Tom Savage, who also received a minor injury, and the Texans lost 10–17. Despite his season-ending injury, Fitzpatrick had a solid season, throwing for 2,483 yards with 17 touchdowns and 8 interceptions for a career-high 95.3 passer rating. He finished the season with a 6–6 record as the starting quarterback for the Texans.
New York Jets
On March 11, 2015, Fitzpatrick was traded by the Houston Texans to the New York Jets for a late-round conditional draft pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. The move reunited Fitzpatrick with his former Head Coach Chan Gailey, who was hired during the off-season as the Jets offensive coordinator and play-caller. Following an incident in the locker room, where starting quarterback Geno Smith suffered a broken jaw after being attacked by IK Enemkpali, Fitzpatrick was tentatively named the Week 1 starter for the Jets.
Making his first start for the Jets on September 13, 2015 in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns, he threw for 179 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception in the 31–10 victory. During Monday Night Football against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2, Fitzpatrick threw for 244 yards with two touchdowns and an interception as the Jets won 20–7. During Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Fitzpatrick threw for 283 yards with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions as the Jets lost 17–24. In Week 4 against the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium, Fitzpatrick had 218 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception as the Jets won 27–14. In Week 6 against the Washington Redskins, Fitzpatrick rushed for a touchdown on 31 rushing yards and passed for 253 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception in the 34–20 victory. In Week 7 against the defending Super Bowl champ New England Patriots, Fitzpatrick threw for 295 yards with 2 touchdowns but the Jets lost 23–30. In Week 8 against the Oakland Raiders, Fitzpatrick suffered torn ligaments in his left thumb while scrambling and did not play for the remainder of the game. Geno Smith relieved him for the rest of the game as the Jets would go on to lose 20–34. Fitzpatrick underwent thumb surgery two days later and stated that he would still start. During Week 9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Fitzpatrick threw for 272 yards with 2 touchdowns as the Jets won 28–23. During Thursday Night Football against the Bills in Week 10, Fitzpatrick threw for 193 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions as the Jets lost 17–22. In Week 11 against the Texans, Fitzpatrick threw for 216 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions as the Jets lost 17–24. During a Dolphins rematch in Week 12, Fitzpatrick made his 100th career start by throwing for 277 yards with 4 touchdowns in the 38–20 victory. In Week 13 against the interconference-rival New York Giants, Fitzpatrick threw for 390 yards with 2 touchdowns as the Jets won 23–20 in overtime. In Week 14 against the Titans, Fitzpatrick threw for 263 yards with 3 touchdowns in the 30–8 blowout victory. During Saturday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 15, Fitzpatrick threw for 299 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the 19–16 victory. This was Fitzpatrick's 9th win of the season as a starter, securing his first winning season as a starting quarterback. During a Patriots rematch in Week 16, Fitzpatrick threw for 296 yards with 3 touchdowns, including an overtime drive that gave the Jets a game-winning touchdown for a 26-20 victory. In the rematch against the Bills during the season finale in Week 17, Fitzpatrick threw for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns, but he also threw 3 costly interceptions, all of which were in the fourth quarter. The Jets not only lost 17–22, but were also eliminated from playoff contention after the Steelers' win over the Browns, despite finishing the year with a 10–6 record. In 16 starts of the 2015 season, Fitzpatrick finished with his best year as a pro, 3,905 passing yards and 31 passing touchdowns along with 15 interceptions, breaking Vinny Testaverde's 1998 franchise record for most touchdown passes in a season.
Fitzpatrick, a free agent after the conclusion of the 2015 season, signed a one-year fully guaranteed $12 million contract with the Jets on July 27, 2016.
Opening the season against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1, Fitzpatrick had 189 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception as the Jets lost a close game 22–23. During Thursday Night Football against the Bills in Week 2, Fitzpatrick improved gradually with 374 passing yards and a touchdown, leading the Jets to a 37–31 victory. During Week 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Jets committed 8 turnovers, including Fitzpatrick throwing 6 interceptions. Fitzpatrick finished with 188 passing yards as the Jets lost 24–3. In a week 6 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, Fitzpatrick was benched in favor of Geno Smith after going 16-for-31 for 174 yard with no touchdowns and one interception and the Jets trailing 28-3. Smith was then named the starter for the next game against the Baltimore Ravens. However, Smith suffered a season-ending injury during the game and was replaced by Fitzpatrick in the second quarter. Fitzpatrick then started the team's next two games against the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins before not playing in the Los Angeles Rams game due to injury. Bryce Petty started in his place even though Fitzpatrick was still active for the game as the backup. Fitzpatrick then returned from his injury to start the next two games against the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. However, during the Colts game, he was benched in favor of Petty to start the second half. Petty was then named the starter for the final four games of the season. Jets head coach Todd Bowles said, "The plan was for us to start him the last four games anyway, so we just started a half early." Petty then started the next three games against the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. During the Dolphins game, Fitzpatrick relieved Petty due to injury early in the fourth quarter. Petty also suffered an injury in the Patriots game and was replaced by Fitzpatrick in the second quarter. Due to Petty's injury, Fitzpatrick started the season finale on January 1, 2017, completing 20 of 30 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns as the Jets beat the Bills by a score of 30-10. In 14 games (11 starts) of 2016, Fitzpatrick finished with 2,710 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions.
On February 15, 2017, Fitzpatrick's contract was voided, and he became a free agent.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
On May 19, 2017, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Fitzpatrick to a one-year, $3 million contract. During the Week 6 game against the Arizona Cardinals, starter Jameis Winston suffered a shoulder injury in the second quarter and was relieved by Fitzpatrick, who proceeded to complete 22 of 32 passes for 290 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions as the Buccaneers lost by a score of 38–33. During Week 9 against the New Orleans Saints on November 5, Winston suffered a shoulder injury and was relieved by Fitzpatrick to start the second half. Fitzpatrick completed 8 of 15 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown as the Buccaneers lost by a score of 30–10. On November 6, head coach Dirk Koetter said that Winston would miss at least two weeks to rest his shoulder. Fitzpatrick started the Week 10 game against the New York Jets, throwing for 187 yards, a touchdown, and an interception as the Buccaneers won 15–10. In Week 11, he threw for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Buccaneers beat the Miami Dolphins by a score of 30–20. He also started the team's Week 12 34–20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons before Winston returned in Week 13. Overall, in the 2017 season, Fitzpatrick had 1,103 passing yards, seven touchdowns, and three interceptions.
Career awards and highlights
- NFL Rookie of The Week (Week 12, 2005)
- AFC Offensive Player of the Month (September 2011)
- 4× AFC Offensive Player of the Week (Week 13, 2014; Week 14; Week 16, 2015, Week 2, 2016)
- NFC Offensive Player of the Week (Week 12, 2005)
- FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week (Week 13, 2014)
- Castrol Edge Clutch Performer of the Week (Week 16, 2015)
- Ed Block Courage Award (2015)
- NFL records
- Most consecutive regular season games with at least two touchdown passes in one stadium during one season: 9 (MetLife Stadium, 2015)
- Most career touchdown passes by an Ivy League quarterback: 166
- NFL firsts
- First quarterback to start a game against one opponent (Washington Redskins) with four different teams (St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans, New York Jets)
- First quarterback to throw four touchdown passes in a single game with four different teams (Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, New York Jets)
- First quarterback to start and win against same opponent (Jacksonville Jaguars) with five different teams
- Buffalo Bills franchise records
- Longest touchdown pass in a single game: 98 yards (against Jacksonville Jaguars on November 22, 2009)
- Houston Texans franchise records
- Most passing touchdown passes in a single game: 6 (against Tennessee Titans on November 30, 2014)
- New York Jets franchise records
- Most passing touchdowns in a single season - 31 (2015)
Fitzpatrick is married to Liza Barber. They have six children named Ruby, Maizy, Zoey, Lucy, Tate and Brady. In 2010, Fitzpatrick was tabbed as the fifth-smartest athlete in sports by Sporting News.
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