After the release of AJ McCarron, the Raiders are in search of a backup quarterback and all they need is a little magic – Fitzmagic.
It’s been hard for Raider Nation to catch its collective breath this week after the slew of trades, free agent signings and roster changes the first week of the NFL New Year.
Now that the Raiders have upgraded greatly the talent on their roster, why not add a little magic to the equation – as in Fitzmagic? While there are no reports or even rumors linking the Raiders to the well-traveled quarterback, why not consider bringing him in?
The fact McCarron was released wasn’t a surprise. A largely disappointing prospect, McCarron was entering the second year of a two-year, $10 million deal he signed back in 2018 with the Buffalo Bills. Releasing McCarron saved Oakland $5 million. Most think that head coach Jon Gruden, being the quarterback whisperer that he is, will use a later round pick in the upcoming draft to select a quarterback to mold in his system for the future. I tend to think the Raiders should defer.
With a new look offense that features Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams as the primary receivers, I believe the Raiders will need a talented backup to be ready in case of another unfortunate injury to starter Derek Carr. While solid backups aren’t growing on trees, there are a few out there and Ryan Fitzpatrick seems to fit the Gruden bill – an experienced veteran who can take over a team at a moments notice in an emergency situation like an injury.
Fitzpatrick is the perfect candidate – if they nab him. He’s in-demand in Tampa still and Miami, Cincinnati, and Carolina are all rumored to be interested. Fitzpatrick is undoubtedly the most colorful and talented backup quarterback (not named Nick Foles) that we have seen this decade. He is a fan favorite that wins over locker rooms at every stop.
The Harvard grad totaled 2,366 passing yards while throwing 17 TD’s and 12 INT’s in eight appearances last season. At 36 years old, expect a one year contract around the $2-3 million range for the bearded wonder. Having a backup who can do what Fitzpatrick does is an invaluable commodity for a team trying to win now.
Look what the wily veteran was able to do in Tampa last season.
When Buccaneers troubled starter Jameis Winston was suspended for three-game suspension, Fitzpatrick was named the starter at the beginning of the 2018 season. The Fitzmagic was in full effect for Weeks 1 and 2 as he went 48-of-61 for 819 yards and eight touchdowns. The Bucs started 2-0 until they hit a roadblock in Week 3 against Pittsburgh. Fitzpatrick came back to earth – still playing well – throwing for 411 yards and three scores but also threw three costly interceptions in a three-point loss to the Steelers.
Yes, the Fitzmagic has a shelf life. Still, as a temporary starter during an emergency, his experience and likability in the locker room would be a welcomed addition to the new and improved Raiders.
Will the Raiders take a shot at Fitzpatrick? Who knows but it certainly could be the perfect match for the team looking to accelerate their rebuild on the way to Las Vegas.