Former Buffalo Bills starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is in high demand as a backup, and Kimberly Jones and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network are reporting that Fitzpatrick will visit both the Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams start soon-to-be third-year quarterbacks on teams that could use Fitzpatrick as a backup. Of those two teams, the Bengals have the most stable starting quarterback situation, whilst the Titans present a better opportunity for Fitzpatrick to potentially start.
The 30-year-old Harvard grad could be reunited in Cincinnati backing up Andy Dalton, who is a solid but unspectacular starter. The Bengals lost their backup, Bruce Gradkowski, to an AFC North rival in the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason, and they could definitely use a new, better backup in Fitzpatrick. They have been showing interest in him for a few days now, and it will be interesting to see if he decides to go back to Cincy.
The Titans, on the other hand, offer the most interesting scenario for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Jake Locker was my favorite quarterback in his draft class, and I am still a big believer in Locker. He has tremendous upside, but he also had significant downside due to his inconsistent play and somewhat erratic behavior. If the Titans sign Fitzpatrick to be their backup, then he would be the direct opposite of current Titans backup Matt Hasselbeck.
While Hasselbeck is the accurate passer and long-time veteran who is more “stable” in the pocket, Fitzpatrick is like Locker in the way that both are gunslingers who like taking risks. Fitzpatrick is a better quarterback than Hasselbeck at this stage, but the one issue is that Hasselbeck likely provides more of a stabilizing influence to Locker than Fitzpatrick would. But I have a feeling Fitzpatrick would prefer to play for the Titans, because he likely had a better shot at starting there than in Cincinnati.
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