(Photo via Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Ryan Fitzpatrick recently received a 2 year, $11M contract from the Dolphins and he will actually start for them after being a journeyman QB his whole career. Let’s take a moment to remember his time here in Tampa.
He signed here in 2017 as a backup
Ryan Fitzpatrick inked a deal in 2017 as the backup QB to Jameis Winston. In 2018, Winston dealt with an on and off AC joint sprain that caused him to miss lots of time. Fitzpatrick came in and showed his “magic” during that time. One such game was the Arizona game where Chandler Jones landed on Winston, causing him to sit out and for Fitzpatrick to come in. The Bucs were down 24-0 at the half, but under “Fitzmagic”, a seemingly hopeless offense scored 33 points and only lost by 5. He then played OKAY in 5 more games, finishing the season with 1,103 yards and 7 touchdowns. The Bucs decided to re-sign Fitzpatrick in 2018, knowing that Starter Jameis Winston’s future was unclear with his Uber sexual allegations looming. This is where the real magic happened. The news broke that Winston would be suspended 3 games to kickoff the season, and Fitzpatrick saw this as his chance to simply have fun and play some football.
Having fun is what he did indeed, scoring 5 total touchdowns, and putting up 417 yards v the New Orleans Saints in week one. He was a leader in his play and character, and the team rallied around him. He instantly found a connection with WR Desean Jackson, something Jameis couldn’t do.
He continued to light up the season with 4 touchdowns and 402 yards v Philly and 411 yards and 3 touchdowns v Pittsburgh. The Bucs then took a nasty loss to a stacked Chicago Bears team where Fitzpatrick ended up back on the bench. Talks of the Magic died down and some fans were upset, as the Bucs seemed like world-beaters the first couple of weeks and were now returning to their normal losing selves. Winston had an awful game v Cincinnati, which caused Fitzpatrick to return yet again and brought the Bucs back in the most clutch of ways. Fitzpatrick threw a 72 yard pass to Mike Evans to bring the game within 8. He then proceeded to tie the game at 34 with a late 18 yard TD pass to OJ Howard followed by a pass under heavy pressure to Chris Godwin for the two point conversion. The defense couldn’t hold the Bengals who drove down the field and kicked the winning field goal with time expriring, but nonetheless, fans and the rest of the NFL yet again saw “Fitzmagic” taking place. Fitzpatrick continued to start two and a half more games in losses to Carolina, Washington, and New York(Giants). He had a total of 816 yards and 5 TDs during the rest of those games, and then Winston finally took back control of this team. Winston truly returned the game after the loss to the Giants as he finally looked confident again in a win v San Francisco. Sadly “Fitzmagic” was officially over.
(Photo via Tampa Bay Bucs)
Ryan Fitzpatrick uses Desean Jackson’s post-game fit and looks like a superstar after beating the defending Super Bowl champs
Headed to Miami
Bucs fans will miss the good times he brought here. The whole NFL admired the journeyman out of Harvard the first few weeks of this season, where he led all quarterbacks in passing yards for a good amount of time. He will now become a starter in Miami as they “Tank for Tua” in this upcoming season, the star quarterback that will be coming out of Alabama in next year’s draft. Fitzpatrick brought the magic to Tampa Bay for a little bit and fans appreciated it, however, Arians did not re-sign Fitzpatrick to eliminate that feeling of someone over franchise QBs shoulder. Jameis surely felt some pressure as Fitzpatrick stepped in his role and outplayed him. Winston won’t have that pressure in 2019, and if he plays well like we all know he can, he is in line for a big payday. We will miss the MAGIC for sure, but it’s time to stop reminiscing and time for WINSTON to WIN in 2019 under Bruce Arians.
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