|Intro||American football player|
|Is||American football player|
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||24 November 1982, Gilbert, USA|
Ryan Joseph Fitzpatrick (born November 24, 1982), nicknamed Fitzmagic, is an American football quarterback for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football at Harvard and was the first quarterback in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a career.
A journeyman quarterback, Fitzpatrick is known for his tenure on eight teams during his career, starting at least one game for the Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Dolphins. He is the only player in NFL history to throw a touchdown pass with eight different teams. With the Buccaneers in 2018, Fitzpatrick became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw 400 yards or more in three straight games.
While an economics student at Harvard, Fitzpatrick had five starts during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, working as the backup for Neil Rose. In 2001, he amassed deep passing yards and a pair of touchdowns. He followed that in 2002 by collecting 1,155 yards, eight touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also ran for five scores and 523 yards that year.
Fitzpatrick took over the starting job in 2003 following Rose's graduation. Fitzpatrick finished his junior campaign with 1,770 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions in seven games. Additionally, he ran for 430 yards and six rushing touchdowns, leading his team to a 7–3 record.
In 2004, Fitzpatrick was named the Ivy League Player of the Year, and winner of the George H. "Bulger" Lowe Award, as he accumulated 1,986 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also led Harvard to a 10–0 record, thus winning the Ivy League Championship. He ranked second on the team with 448 rushing yards and five scores.
For his career, Fitzpatrick connected on 384 of 641 passes (59.9 percent) for 5,234 yards, 39 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He collected 1,487 yards with 16 scores on 365 carries (4.1 avg.) and totaled 6,721 yards, an average of 224.0 yards per game, while seeing action in 30 contests. He ranks second on Harvard's career list for pass completions, touchdowns, yards passing and pass completion percentage, topped only by Neil Rose (5,949 yards, 41 touchdowns, 455 completions, 62.4 percent, 1998–2002). His 641 pass attempts rank fourth in school history. His 1,006 total plays for 6,721 yards in total offense broke the old school career records of 1,005 plays by Mike Giardi (1991–93) and 6,519 yards by Rose.
As is the case for most incoming NFL rookies, Fitzpatrick took the Wonderlic test. Rumors have indicated that Fitzpatrick recorded a 50 on the test in nine minutes, signifying a perfect score. However, according to a The Wall Street Journal report that appeared in the September 30, 2005, edition, Fitzpatrick scored a 48 on the exam, not a 50—still considered an exceptionally high score, but the claim that he completed the test in nine minutes is accurate. While his actual score is unknown, he has acknowledged that he left at least one question blank. As the Wonderlic score is the number of correct answers to 50 questions, the best he could have scored would be a 49. To date, Fitzpatrick has the highest Wonderlic Test score ever achieved among NFL quarterbacks. The only player to earn a verified perfect score on the Wonderlic test was also a Harvard graduate: wide receiver/punter Pat McInally, who played his entire career with the Cincinnati Bengals.
St. Louis Rams
2005 season: Rookie year
Fitzpatrick was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft with the 250th overall pick. He played his first NFL game on November 27, 2005. Coming into the eleventh game of the regular season in the second quarter against the Houston Texans to replace injured veteran journeyman Jamie Martin, Fitzpatrick led the Rams from a 24–3 halftime deficit to a 33–27 overtime win, throwing for 310 yards and three touchdowns, completing 63.3% of his passes and 117.4 QB rating for the game. He earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his effort. This made Fitzpatrick one of only eight players who passed for more than 300 yards in their NFL debut. The others were Otto Graham, 346 yards (1950); Ed Rubbert, 334 (a replacement player for the Washington Redskins during the 1987 strike); Mark Rypien, 303 (1988), Peyton Manning, 302 (1998), Cam Newton, 422 (2011), Robert Griffin III, 320 (2012), Andrew Luck, 309 (2012) and Kyler Murray, 308 (2019). The win earned him the next three starts, making Fitzpatrick the first Harvard quarterback to start an NFL game. Fitzpatrick was unable to duplicate his debut performance in the games he started with the Rams coming two weeks later in a 13–27 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in which he threw for 235 yards, no touchdowns, and five interceptions for a QB rating of 32.4 for the game. He was replaced by Martin after halftime the following week, after struggling in a home game against the Philadelphia Eagles in which he completed just 41.7% of his passes for a total of 69 yards.
In 2006, Fitzpatrick only appeared in one game, which was in the season finale against the Minnesota Vikings. He appeared late in the game in relief of Marc Bulger and ran out the clock of the 41–21 victory.
On September 1, 2007, Fitzpatrick was traded to the Bengals for a seventh-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. He recorded no meaningful statistics in his third professional season.
A restricted free agent in the 2008 offseason, Fitzpatrick signed his one-year tender offer from the Bengals on April 17. Due to an elbow injury to starting quarterback Carson Palmer, Fitzpatrick made his first Bengals start on September 28, 2008, against the Cleveland Browns. Fitzpatrick was not only the leading passer but also the leading rusher in the Bengals' 20–12 loss. Palmer returned the next week to start against the Dallas Cowboys, but once again had to sit the following week to rest his sore elbow. On October 12, 2008, Fitzpatrick got the start against the New York Jets, and every other game for the remainder of that season.
On February 27, 2009, Fitzpatrick signed with the Buffalo Bills on a 3-year $7.405 million contract. He made his first appearance on October 18, 2009 against the New York Jets when starter Trent Edwards went down with an injury, leading the Bills to a 16–13 overtime win, while throwing for 116 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Fitzpatrick started the following two games, resulting in a win over the Carolina Panthers and loss to the Houston Texans.
On November 18, 2009, he was named the starting quarterback of the Buffalo Bills by interim head coach Perry Fewell who took over the coaching duties after former head coach Dick Jauron was fired. He went 3–3 as a starter under Fewell, throwing seven touchdowns, six interceptions and 1,060 yards. Overall, Fitzpatrick went 5–4 in games in which he had a majority of the playing time for a team that finished with a 6–10 record. In Week 11 of the 2009 season in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Fitzpatrick threw a 98-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens, the longest touchdown reception and pass for both Owens and Fitzpatrick, also setting the team record for the longest touchdown pass. The Bills went on to lose to the Jaguars 18–15. Overall, in the 2009 season, Fitzpatrick finished with 1,422 passing yards, nine touchdowns, and ten interceptions.
Despite the strong showing, new head coach Chan Gailey decided to go with Trent Edwards as the starter for the 2010 season, relegating Fitzpatrick to the backup role. On September 20, 2010, Fitzpatrick was named the new starting quarterback following the Bills 0–2 start.
In a 49–31 comeback win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Fitzpatrick threw for 316 yards and four touchdowns, including three to Stevie Johnson. This performance marked the first time in NFL history that a team had come back from 17 points down to win by 18 or more. Despite the Bills finishing at 4–12 (4–9 with him at quarterback), Fitzpatrick had a breakout season in 2010, recording at least one touchdown pass in 13 consecutive games and becoming the first Bills quarterback to pass for at least 3,000 yards in a season since J. P. Losman in 2006.
During Week 2 the 2011 season, Fitzpatrick led the Bills to touchdown drives on five straight possessions in the second half to rally past the Oakland Raiders. It was the first time in league history a team had scored offensive touchdowns on five straight possessions in the second half. In the 2011 season, Fitzpatrick was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September. On October 28, 2011, Fitzpatrick signed a six-year, $59 million contract extension including a $10 million signing bonus with the Bills. He had three 300-yard performances in the 2011 season, with a season-high 369 yards against the New England Patriots. After the 2011 season, it was revealed that Fitzpatrick had broken his ribs in a game against the Washington Redskins, which was presumably a factor in his decline in play over the rest of the season. Fitzpatrick finished the 2011 season with 3,832 yards and 24 touchdowns, but threw a league-leading 23 interceptions.
Fitzpatrick returned as the Bills' starter during the 2012 season, throwing for 3,400 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. Following Chan Gailey's firing after the season, the Bills opted not to hold on to Fitzpatrick, releasing him on March 12, 2013.
On March 18, 2013, Fitzpatrick signed a two-year contract with the Tennessee Titans. He replaced Jake Locker for the Titans in Week 4 due to an injury in the third quarter. Fitzpatrick completed 3 of his 8 passes for 108 yards, which included a 77-yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington, in a 38–13 win against the New York Jets.
Fitzpatrick played in 11 games and started 9 of them. He finished the season with a 3–6 record as the starting quarterback, beating division rivals the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans in the final two games of the season. He completed the season throwing for 2,454 yards with 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Fitzpatrick was released on March 14, 2014, and replaced by Charlie Whitehurst.
On March 18, 2014, Fitzpatrick signed a two-year contract with the Houston Texans. He was named the Texans' starting quarterback by new Head Coach Bill O'Brien on June 17, but was demoted to second on the Texans' depth chart on November 5, 2014, being replaced by Ryan Mallett.
On November 23, 2014, Mallett tore his pectoral muscle and Fitzpatrick was renamed the starter. On November 30, in a 45–21 win against the Tennessee Titans in Week 13, Fitzpatrick threw for a franchise-record six touchdowns and 358 yards with no interceptions and a 147.5 passer rating. He earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his effort against the Titans.
On December 14, 2014, during the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts, Fitzpatrick scrambled for a two-yard gain, was tripped up, and ended up with a fractured left tibia, ending his season. He was replaced by rookie Tom Savage, who also received a minor injury, and the Texans lost 10–17. Despite his season-ending injury, Fitzpatrick had a solid season, throwing for 2,483 yards with 17 touchdowns and 8 interceptions for a then career-high 95.3 passer rating. He finished the season with a 6–6 record as the starting quarterback for the Texans.
New York Jets
On March 11, 2015, Fitzpatrick was traded to the New York Jets for a late-round conditional draft pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. The move reunited Fitzpatrick with his former Head Coach Chan Gailey, who was hired during the off-season as the Jets offensive coordinator and play-caller. Following an incident in the locker room, in which starting quarterback Geno Smith suffered a broken jaw after being punched by linebacker IK Enemkpali, Fitzpatrick was tentatively named the Week 1 starter for the Jets.
Making his first start for the Jets on September 13, in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns, Fitzpatrick threw for 179 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in the 31–10 victory. During Monday Night Football against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2, Fitzpatrick threw for 244 yards with two touchdowns and an interception as the Jets won 20–7. During Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Fitzpatrick threw for 283 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions as the Jets lost 17–24. In Week 4 against the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium, Fitzpatrick had 218 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception as the Jets won 27–14. In Week 6 against the Washington Redskins, Fitzpatrick rushed for a touchdown on 31 rushing yards and passed for 253 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in the 34–20 victory. In Week 7 against the New England Patriots, Fitzpatrick threw for 295 yards with two touchdowns but the Jets lost 23–30. In Week 8 against the Oakland Raiders, Fitzpatrick suffered torn ligaments in his left thumb while scrambling and did not play for the remainder of the game. Geno Smith relieved him for the rest of the game as the Jets would go on to lose 20–34. Fitzpatrick underwent thumb surgery two days later and stated that he would still start. During Week 9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Fitzpatrick threw for 272 yards with 2 touchdowns as the Jets won 28–23. During Thursday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills in Week 10, Fitzpatrick threw for 193 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions as the Jets lost 17–22. In Week 11 against the Houston Texans, Fitzpatrick threw for 216 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions as the Jets lost 17–24.
During a Dolphins rematch in Week 12, Fitzpatrick made his 100th career start by throwing for 277 yards with 4 touchdowns in the 38–20 victory. In Week 13 against the interconference-rival New York Giants, Fitzpatrick threw for 390 yards with 2 touchdowns as the Jets won 23–20 in overtime. In Week 14 against the Tennessee Titans, Fitzpatrick threw for 263 yards with three touchdowns in a 30–8 victory to earn AFC Offensive Player of the Week. During Saturday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 15, Fitzpatrick threw for 299 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the 19–16 victory. This was Fitzpatrick's ninth win of the season as a starter, securing his first winning season as a starting quarterback. During a Patriots rematch in Week 16, Fitzpatrick threw for 296 yards with three touchdowns, including an overtime drive that gave the Jets a game-winning touchdown for a 26–20 victory. For his effort against the Patriots, he earned another AFC Offensive Player of the Week. In the rematch against the Bills during the season finale in Week 17, Fitzpatrick threw for 181 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw 3 costly interceptions, all of which were in the fourth quarter. The Jets not only lost 17–22, but were also eliminated from playoff contention after the Steelers' win over the Browns, despite finishing the year with a 10–6 record.
Having started in all 16 games of the 2015 season, Fitzpatrick finished with his best year as a pro with 3,905 passing yards and 31 passing touchdowns along with 15 interceptions, breaking Vinny Testaverde's 1998 franchise record for most touchdown passes in a season.
Fitzpatrick, a free agent after the conclusion of the 2015 season, signed a one-year fully guaranteed $12 million contract with the Jets on July 27, 2016.
Opening the season against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1, Fitzpatrick had 189 passing yards, two touchdowns, and one interception as the Jets lost a close game 22–23. During Thursday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills in Week 2, Fitzpatrick improved gradually with 374 passing yards and a touchdown, leading the Jets to a 37–31 victory to earn AFC Offensive Player of the Week. During Week 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Jets committed 8 turnovers, including Fitzpatrick throwing 6 interceptions. Fitzpatrick finished with 188 passing yards as the Jets lost 24–3. In a week 6 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, Fitzpatrick was benched in favor of Geno Smith after going 16-for-31 for 174 yards with no touchdowns and an interception and the Jets trailing 28–3.
Smith was then named the starter for the next game against the Baltimore Ravens. However, Smith suffered a season-ending injury during the game and was replaced by Fitzpatrick in the second quarter. Fitzpatrick then started the team's next two games against the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins before sitting out against the Los Angeles Rams due to injury. Bryce Petty started in his place even though Fitzpatrick was still active for the game as the backup. Fitzpatrick then returned from his injury to start the next two games against the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. However, during the Colts game, he was benched in favor of Petty to start the second half.
Petty was then named the starter for the final four games of the season. Jets head coach Todd Bowles said, "The plan was for us to start him the last four games anyway, so we just started a half early." Petty then started the next three games against the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. During the Dolphins game, Fitzpatrick relieved Petty due to injury early in the fourth quarter. Petty also suffered an injury in the Patriots game and was replaced by Fitzpatrick in the second quarter. Due to Petty's injury, Fitzpatrick started in the season finale on January 1, 2017, completing 20 of 30 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns as the Jets beat the Bills by a score of 30–10. In 14 games (11 starts) of 2016, Fitzpatrick finished with 2,710 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions.
On February 15, 2017, Fitzpatrick's contract was voided, and he became a free agent.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
On May 19, 2017, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Fitzpatrick to a one-year, $3 million contract. During Week 6 against the Arizona Cardinals, Fitzpatick entered the game after starter Jameis Winston suffered a shoulder injury in the second quarter. He completed 22 of 32 passes for 290 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions as the Buccaneers lost by a score of 38–33. During Week 9 against the New Orleans Saints, Fitzpatrick entered the game after Winston suffered a shoulder injury. He completed 8 of 15 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown as the Buccaneers lost by a score of 30–10. On November 6, head coach Dirk Koetter said that Winston would miss at least two weeks to rest his shoulder. Fitzpatrick started the Week 10 game against the New York Jets, throwing for 187 yards, a touchdown, and an interception as the Buccaneers won 15–10. In Week 11, he threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns as the Buccaneers beat the Miami Dolphins by a score of 30–20. He also started the team's Week 12 34–20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons before Winston returned in Week 13. Overall, in the 2017 season, Fitzpatrick had 1,103 passing yards, seven touchdowns, and three interceptions.
On March 9, 2018, Fitzpatrick signed a one-year contract extension with the Buccaneers. Starter Jameis Winston was handed a three-game suspension, making Fitzpatrick the Buccaneers' starting quarterback to begin the 2018 season. In Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints, Fitzpatrick completed 21 of 28 passes for a career-high 417 yards and four touchdowns, while also rushing for 36 yards and a touchdown, finishing with a 156.2 QB rating as the Buccaneers won 48–40. He was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Week 1. During Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Fitzpatrick completed 27 of 33 passes for 402 yards and four touchdowns, finishing with a 144.4 QB rating despite one interception as the Buccaneers won 27–21. His performance in Week 2 earned Fitzpatrick his second consecutive NFC Offensive Player of the Week. His unexpectedly incredible performance during the first two weeks of the season revived his old Bills nickname "Fitzmagic" with both Buccaneers and NFL fans. During Monday Night Football against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3, Fitzpatrick finished with 411 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions as the Buccaneers lost 27–30. He became the first player in NFL history to have three consecutive games with at least 400 passing yards. Fitzpatrick started in Week 4 against the Chicago Bears, in which his performance regressed; he obtained only 126 passing yards and an interception. He was replaced by Winston, whose three-game suspension expired. The Buccaneers lost by a score of 10–48.
In Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Fitzpatrick relieved Winston at the end of the third quarter after Winston was benched for throwing four interceptions. Fitzpatrick completed 11 of 15 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns to tie the game 34–34 with 1:05 left in the game after being down 34–16. The Bengals would then drive down the field and kick a game-winning field goal as time expired. The next day, the Buccaneers named Fitzpatrick their starting quarterback. In Week 10, against the Washington Redskins, he passed for his fourth 400-yard passing game of the season, throwing for 406 yards and two interceptions, which tied Dan Marino and Peyton Manning for the single-season record as the Buccaneers lost by a score of 16-3. In a 38-35 Week 11 loss against the New York Giants, Fitzpatrick was benched for Winston again in the second half after he threw for 167 yards and three interceptions in what would be his final appearance of the 2018 season. Overall, in eight games, Fitzpatrick finished with 2,366 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and a career-high passer rating of 100.4. He also rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns.
On March 18, 2019, the Miami Dolphins signed Fitzpatrick to a two-year contract for $11 million.
Fitzpatrick was named the Dolphins starting quarterback over Josh Rosen. In Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens, Fitzpatrick threw for 185 yards, one touchdown, and one interception as the Dolphins lost 59–10. The following week against the New England Patriots, he threw for 89 yards and was intercepted three times, with two being pick-sixes, before being benched for Rosen in the 43–0 shutout loss. After the game, Dolphins' head coach Brian Flores said that Fitzpatrick would still be the starter in Week 3 against the Dallas Cowboys, but on September 19, prior to the game, Rosen was named the starter, sending Fitzpatrick to the bench.
In Week 6 against the Washington Redskins, Fitzpatrick relieved Rosen after the latter was benched for poor performance. In the game, Fitzpatrick threw for 132 yards and one touchdown. After leading Miami to a last-minute touchdown to cut Washington's lead to 17–16, he attempted a two-point conversion pass to Kenyan Drake, who dropped it, sealing the loss for Miami. Fitzpatrick started following week against the Buffalo Bills, his former team, leading the Dolphins to a 14–9 halftime lead. However, after he threw an interception to cornerback Tre'Davious White, the Bills rallied in the fourth quarter to win 31–21. Fitzpatrick finished the game with 282 passing yards, one passing touchdown, one interception, and one rushing touchdown. In Week 9 against another of his former teams, the New York Jets, Fitzpatrick threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns as the Dolphins won their first game of the season 26–18. In Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Fitzpatrick threw for 365 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception in the 37–31 win. During Week 16 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Fitzpatrick finished with 419 passing yards, four touchdowns, and an interception as the Dolphins won 38–35 in overtime. In week 17 against the New England Patriots, Fitzpatrick threw for 320 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 15 yards and a touchdown during the 27–24 win. Fitzpatrick ended the 2019 season with 3,529 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, and 13 interceptions to go along with 243 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He ended up being the team's leading rusher for the 2019 season.
|Led the league|
Career awards, highlights, and records
- NFL Rookie of The Week (Week 12, 2005)
- AFC Offensive Player of the Month (September 2011)
- 4× AFC Offensive Player of the Week (Week 13, 2014; Week 14; Week 16, 2015, Week 2, 2016)
- 3× NFC Offensive Player of the Week (Week 12, 2005; Week 1, 2018; Week 2, 2018)
- 2× FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week (Week 13, 2014; Week 1, 2018)
- Castrol Edge Clutch Performer of the Week (Week 16, 2015)
- Ed Block Courage Award (2015)
- Miami Dolphins team MVP (2019)
- Most consecutive regular season games with at least two touchdown passes in one stadium during one season: 9 (MetLife Stadium, 2015)
- Most career touchdown passes by an Ivy League graduate: 210
- First quarterback to start a game against one opponent (Washington Redskins) with five different teams (St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
- First quarterback to throw four touchdown passes in a single game with five different teams (Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
- First quarterback to start and win against same opponent (Jacksonville Jaguars) with five different teams
- Most touchdown passes of at least 50 yards through a team's first 2 games – 4 (tied with Joe Namath)
- Most consecutive games of 400 yards passing and 4 touchdowns to begin a season – 2 (2018)
- Most consecutive games of 400 yards passing to begin a season – 3 (2018)
- Most consecutive games of 400 yards passing – 3 (2018)
Bills franchise records
- Longest touchdown pass by a Bills player: 98 yards (against Jacksonville Jaguars on November 22, 2009)
Texans franchise records
- Most passing touchdowns in a single game: 6 (against Tennessee Titans on November 30, 2014)
Jets franchise records
- Most passing touchdowns in a single season: 31 (2015)
Buccaneers franchise records
- Only QB with consecutive weeks of 400 yards passing: Weeks 1–3, 2018
- Only QB to pass for 400 yards multiple times in a season: 4 (2018)
- Most consecutive weeks of having a passer rating of at least 140.0 in a season: 2 (2018)
- Most touchdown passes in the first three weeks of a season: 11 (2018)
- Most games with at least 4 touchdown passes in a season: 3 (2018)
Fitzpatrick is married to Liza Barber. They have seven children together. In 2010, Fitzpatrick was named the fifth-smartest athlete in sports by Sporting News.