Ryan Fitzpatrick has played a lot of football for a number of different teams, so it’s very telling when he said during a podcast this week that his first season with the Washington Football Team has the potential to be his best year yet.
Fitzpatrick, 38, is entering his 17th season in the NFL as Washington’s presumed starting quarterback, and while his career has seen both highs and lows, the veteran quarterback believes he’s hit the jackpot.
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“This is the best situation I’ve ever been in or the best situation that I’ve ever gone into as the guy,” Fitzpatrick said Monday on the ESPN Daily podcast. “I signed to be the starter in Houston, I signed to be the starter in Miami, so this is now the third team that I’ve signed to come in and be the starter for.”
Despite any assumptions that he might be nearing the end of his time in the league, Fitzpatrick said he feels confident in his performance level.
“I just feel like the way that I’m playing the last four years, kind of the progression of my career, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense that 17 years in, physically, I feel great, mentally, emotionally, I’m in the right spot. I just think I am set up for success this year and really looking forward to it.”
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Fitzpatrick was drafted by the Rams in the seventh round of the 2005 draft, where he played as a backup for two seasons before being traded to the Cincinnati Bengals. He signed with the Buffalo Bills as a free agent in 2009, where he played for four seasons. Fitzpatrick had brief stints with the Tennessee Titans and the Houston Texans and eventually signed with the New York Jets.
He said this was the first pivotal moment in his career — albeit not a memorable one.
“The other major point in my career when there was a transition was after my year in 2016 with the Jets, which was miserable and the first time in my life I hated football and just didn’t want to play anymore,” Fitzpatrick said. “Since then, it’s almost like I’ve been playing on borrowed time.”
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“The last four I’ve really been able to enjoy,” he continued. “Hopefully everybody has been able to see that for me on the field, from some of the goofy stuff and the interviews. My personality has really come out the last four.”
Washington signed Fitzpatrick to a one-year contract in March with the hopes of building on last season’s playoff run.