Charley Casserly: Ryan Fitzpatrick an upgrade right now, not Washington's long-term answer

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Mike DePrisco
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Casserly: Fitzpatrick an upgrade right now, not WFT's long-term answer originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

By signing Ryan Fitzpatrick to a one-year, $10 million deal in free agency, the Washington Football Team began to answer the massive question regarding its quarterback situation. 

Fitzpatrick is the likely starter going into the 2021 season depending on what happens on draft night, and if that's the case in Week 1, former Washington general manager Charley Casserly sees the signing as an upgrade from Alex Smith and Dwayne Haskins a year ago. 

"I like the move," Casserly told Julie Donaldson on Washington Football Today. "First of all, it's an upgrade over where they were a year ago. No. 2, this guy is a leader, he'll respond with the players, the players will respond to him. He doesn't know the system but as he's said, 'I've played in almost every system in the league.'"

Fitzpatrick has made his way through the NFL over the course of his 17th seasons, with Washington set to be his ninth different team. While he's an up-and-down player at a position, there's a reason why he's been in the league as long as he has. 

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"On the field, you can see this guy can make every throw in the book. His arm is good enough, he can put it in tight windows, can make those 'wow' throws. However, his history is he's streaky. He's gonna try to force some balls in there, where when it doesn't make it, you're gonna think 'What is he throwing that one for?'

"He's prone to have those moments, but he has had some great production over the last couple of years with Miami and Tampa before that."

Fitzpatrick should be able to raise Washington's ceiling this season, but as Casserly points out, the 38-year-old is probably not going to be Washington's long-term answer at quarterback. 

"He's not the long-term answer. To me, he was the best short-term answer they could get," Casserly said. "I think you look to the draft, and you just keep looking. You don't mortgage your future if you don't feel like it's gonna help your football team. What they're doing is building a good football team, a solid football team, and the quarterback will come at some point."