But what Nix didn't mention is that Fitzpatrick would be doing that fighting somewhere else. After starting 52 games for the Bills over the past four seasons, the 3o-year-old quarterback was released by the team on Tuesday afternoon.
Fitzpatrick was playing on a six-year, $59 million extension that he signed in October 2011 when the team got off to a 4-2 start. Fitzpatrick finished that season with a league-high 23 interceptions and the Bills have gone 8-18 since that deal was signed.
“We kept every possible option open right down to the wire when we had to make a decision on whether to keep Ryan. In the end, we had to do what we feel is best for our football team and it was a very difficult decision," said Bills GM Buddy Nix. "Ryan did some great things as our starting quarterback. He is a class act, a terrific guy with a great family and has been involved in many charitable endeavors in our community. But difficult decisions often have to be made and so we are moving forward. We wish Ryan and his family the best of luck in the future and offer him our sincere thanks for everything he has done for the Bills.”
It isn't every day that you see a starting quarterback cut from his team but it saved the Bills some money. Fitzpatrick was due a $3 million roster bonus on Wednesday and Pro Football Talk says the Bills saved $7.45 million by cutting him. The team, however, will carry $10 million of "dead money" on their cap hit going forward.
However, by releasing Fitzpatrick, it appears the Bills are heading in a new direction under new head coach Doug Marrone. The team currently has Tarvaris Jackson and Aaron Corp on its roster, but it seems clear the Bills will bring in another signal caller to fight for Fitzpatrick's old gig.
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