Yesterday, as the league year began, the Bills made the surprise move of cutting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, effectively moving on from an era that never really got going.
The Bills will now be looking to find a new quarterback, whether that be through free agency or the draft in April, but right now, the focus of the release is squarely on Fitzpatrick.
At thirty years of age, Ryan Fitzpatrick is not too old to warrant long-term looks from other teams. He won't command a huge paycheck, making the initial investment to bring him in relatively low, but with such a week quarterback class in free agency and the draft, Ryan Fitzpatrick may be the best option for a number of different teams.
So far this offseason, the biggest free agent quarterback signing has been David Garrard landing with the New York Jets, something that would be a footnote at best in most years.
As it stands, there are a number of quarterback needy teams that won't be able to find what they're looking for in this year's draft. The Jaguars, Raiders, Browns, Cardinals, Titans and even Buccaneers could all be looking to bring in another quarterback for various reasons. Obviously, Fitzpatrick would probably like the opportunity to start for someone, which would narrow his opportunities down to Jacksonville, Oakland, Arizona and maybe Cleveland.
The terms of David Garrard's contract with the Jets aren't available yet, so it's hard to tell what Ryan Fitzpatrick will command on the open market. To put some perspective on the issue, Fitzpatrick's contract with the Bills was signed in 2011 for six years, worth up to $59 million, $24 million of which was guaranteed. Fitzpatrick won't touch the value of that contract with whichever team he lands with, but it's not unrealistic to think that he could make a couple million dollars somewhere. The lack of quarterback talent in the draft and free agency will only drive Fitzpatrick's figure higher.