Ex-Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick signs free-agent deal with Bucs


Fitzpatrick, 34, the journeyman QB out of Harvard, will compete to be Jameis Winston's backup in Tampa.

Even though he's provided glimpses of starting-caliber play over the past two seasons, Fitzpatrick's erratic tendencies have made him a liability as a dropback passer.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to terms with the veteran quarterback, the team announced Friday.

Ryan Fitzpatrick's best season was in 2015 when he started every game for the New York Jets.

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Fitzpatrick had a strong 2015 season, but he and the New York Jets struggled to get a deal done.

The 34-year-old Fitzpatrick, who has started 116 games over his 12 seasons in the National Football League, will serve as the backup to starter Jameis Winston.

Before his two-year stint with the Jets, Fitzpatrick played for the St. Louis Rams (2005-06), Cincinnati Bengals (2008), Buffalo Bills (2009-12), Tennessee Titans (2013) and Houston Texans (2014).

He has 25,888 career passing yards, 166 touchdown passes and a 79.9 passing rating. In 12 starts, he completed 59.4% of his passes for 1,905 yards, eight touchdowns and nine interceptions.

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Fitzpatrick's season was defined by shaky stylings under center, and his six-interception performance in Week 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs represented a low point.

The signing of Fitzpatrick is another indication that the Buccaneers expect to be serious playoff contenders in 2017.

We shouldn't forget that the Buccaneers also added the explosive DeSean Jackson via free agency. However, they've now added experienced insurance in case Winston does have to miss some playing time.

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