NFL News & Analysis

Journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick retiring after 17 seasons

Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) talks to fans while leaving the field after the Washington Football Team's game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

After 17 NFL seasons, journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is calling it a career. 

According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the 39-year-old is retiring from football and will likely spend some time in the broadcasting booth. The news was initially broken by Fred Jackson, Fitzpatrick's former Buffalo Bills teammate.

Drafted in 2005, the Harvard product logged 9,433 regular-season snaps across nine different NFL rosters. He was selected in the seventh round by the then-St. Louis Rams and most recently saw action for the Washington Football Team.

Over his career, he completed 2,996-of-4,925 passes for 34,212 yards, 218 touchdowns and 161 interceptions.

Fitzpatrick: PFF grade and rank among quarterbacks since 2008
Season Team Dropbacks PFF Grade Grade Rank
2021 WAS 8 38.9
2020 MIA 299 75.1 19 of 38
2019 MIA 580 76.5 14 of 39
2018 TB 285 83.9 10 of 39
2017 TB 180 67.9 27 of 41
2016 NYJ 441 51.8 34 of 37
2015 NYJ 615 63.7 28 of 40
2014 HST 365 74.5 14 of 39
2013 TEN 399 68.1 23 of 43
2012 BUF 566 54.0 33 of 39
2011 BUF 618 65.4 21 of 38
2010 BUF 494 66.9 27 of 39
2009 BUF 266 61.4 26 of 41
2008 CIN 448 53.9 36 of 37
Click here to view Ryan Fitzpatrick's career in PFF Premium Stats

Fitzpatrick graded above a 60.0 in 10 of the 14 seasons in which he saw significant playing time. His highest grade came in 2018 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while his lowest came last season in Washington, where he suffered a season-ending hip injury in Week 1.

While he never became a longtime starter in the second half of his career, the Arizona native developed a reputation as a mentor for young quarterbacks who would eventually lead the team.

During his time in Tampa, he produced some of his famous “Fitz-magic” by accomplishing the highest-graded two-game stretch of the PFF era. The excellent 98.2 passing grade came after he completed 48-of-61 attempts for 819 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception over the first two weeks of the 2018 campaign. The run saw 10 big-time throws to zero turnover-worthy plays.

During the 2019 and 2020 seasons in Miami, he earned a 78.6 overall grade across 1,374 snaps, passing for 5,620 yards, 32 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. His adjusted completion rate of 75.1% was a top-20 mark among qualifying quarterbacks and gave eventual starter Tua Tagovailoa time to develop into a viable option for the Dolphins.

Last season, he only appeared in one game — a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers — where he completed 3-of-6 passes for 13 yards across 16 snaps.

Known for his gunslinger mentality, Fitzpatrick was seemingly never too far from an explosive play, though that playstyle came with the increased turnover risk that made trotting out the veteran such a gamble. His 229 big-time throws ranks 17th in the PFF era, but he also ranks 10th all-time in turnover-worthy plays with 239.

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