The legendary "Fitzmagic" decided to call it quits after 17 seasons in the NFL. A popular QB who surprisingly never made the playoffs, Fitzpatrick was widely hailed for his leadership and mentoring role to younger players. Also known for his prolific beard, the Fitz announced his retirement to the Associated Press after sending a text to some of his former teammates, including Bills RB Fred Jackson. He's the one that instantly broke the news on Twitter.
Fitzpatrick wrote him, "Forever grateful for the magical ride", and Jackson responded in a tweet saying, "Congrats on a helluva career, Fitzy!!!" During his 17-season stint in the NFL, Fitzpatrick was a pretty famous player, although he never won the MVP nor played in the playoffs.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is one of the rare players with two nicknames in the NFL. He’s called “Fitzmagic” or “Fitztragic”, with both nicknames referring to his inconsistent performances. He holds a record for most passing touchdowns and passing yards among QBs that have never played in the playoffs. He was, however, a true and vocal leader, who always played the role of a mentor to younger players willfully.
In his last year, Fitzpatrick suffered a season-end injury, a hip subluxation in the opening game for Washington against the Chargers. Instead of going through a lengthy rehab, he decided to hang up his boots. Fitzy played 17 seasons for different teams, including the St. Louis Rams, the Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, NY Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, and his last team Washington.
He started games anywhere he played. It's yet another record set among NFL quarterbacks. However, he never made the playoffs, coming close one time in 2015 with the Jets. It's a dark spot in his career, although, to be fair, it's not solely his fault.
Chan Gailey, the Jets' offensive coordinator and a close friend, says Fitzpatrick deserved better. He held the same position for the Dolphins during Fitzpatrick's sole season in Miami last year. The Dolphins were poised for the playoffs with Fitzy in the QB role, but he eventually lost it to rookie Tua Tagovailoa.
Gailey coached Fitzpatrick in three different teams and says that his leadership skills are on par with the best in the business. He was a fierce competitor and very smart too. He always had answers for other players, so he garnered a lot of respect as a mentor. He's also known as one of the very rare Harvard grads in the NFL. He started five times for the Crimson back in 2001 and 2002, ranking second on the list of pass completions and touchdowns, among other records.
Like most NFL rookies, Fitzpatrick completed the Wonderlic test, but rumours say he had a perfect score of 50 in just 9 minutes. It was never proven, with The Wall Street Journal saying he had a 48. It's still an incredible score and the highest among NFL quarterbacks.
He may not have made the playoffs, but Ryan Fitzpatrick was still a legendary QB. Here’s to a helluva career, Fitzy.