Why one ESPN insider believes Washington will end up signing Ryan Fitzpatrick

ESPN insider thinks Washington will end up with Fitzpatrick originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Since entering the NFL in 2005, Ryan Fitzpatrick has played for eight different franchises. And due to his soon-to-be-expired contract with the Dolphins, it appears that the passer and his beard could be headed to yet another destination when free agency begins.

Could that destination be Washington, though?

One ESPN insider thinks so.

During a Thursday appearance on SportsCenter, Field Yates joined for a segment where he predicted the landing spots for tons of different signal-callers, and when he focused in on the Burgundy and Gold, Fitzpatrick was the name he brought up.

“The Washington Football Team is kind of like the Patriots in that no man’s land,” he began.

“They have the 19th overall pick, probably can’t select a first-round quarterback, have a really good defense,” he continued. “How about Ryan Fitzpatrick, who I think has earned the chance to be a starting quarterback again this year after the way he played last year.”

Yates concluded his analysis by calling Fitzpatrick “somebody that could help this team be right back in the playoff mix again.”

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The “no man’s land” that Yates referenced is becoming more and more apparent for Ron Rivera’s club; unless they’re able to pry away Deshaun Watson or Derek Carr from their respective organizations, Washington will be sifting through a lot of options that are of the short-term variety. Fitzpatrick, of course, fits that designation, seeing as he’s 38 years old.

However, the guy can still be productive, as evidenced by the work he did with Miami in 2020.

The Dolphins went 4-3 in his seven starts before Brian Flores made the switch to Tua Tagovailoa. Overall, Fitzpatrick finished the campaign with a completion percentage close to 70 and a 13-to-8 TD-to-INT ratio. He was also solid in 2019, too, over a larger sample size.

“These last two years have really re-lit that fire under me and I still want to play and I enjoy being out there playing,” Fitzpatrick recently told The Pat McAfee Show.

There’s always the worry of Fitzpatrick showing up to the stadium on any given weekend and throwing four picks in a half, but the form he showed in his recent stretch in the AFC East is promising and might be enough for Ron Rivera to call, considering the coach indicated he isn’t in a total rush to locate Washington’s next decade-long starter. 

Fitzpatrick, like Marcus Mariota, doesn’t have the highest of ceilings. But if he can replicate his performance for the Dolphins in D.C. and allow Washington’s defense to stand out, perhaps he’d be a useful placeholder for 2021 while Rivera keeps searching for a more permanent answer.