On Monday, March 18, 2013 the Titans released backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and signed former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. I was very sad to see Hasselbeck move on to the Colts as he was from all appearances a great teammate and a consumate professional while with the Titans. I for one certainly wish him well in Indy except of course when they play the Titans. Fitzpatrick gets a lot of heat for his body of work in Buffalo but I have grown to like this move since it was announced. Why do you ask? Let’s take a look.
Analyzing the Ryan Fitzpatrick Move
I wrote in my Shonn Greene blog that I believed the Titans could possibly run the read option given the other free agency signings they have made. A Look At Shonn Greene. Locker showed in 2012 he was still more comfortable operating out of the shotgun and Fitzpatrick is simply better situated to run the offense I expect the Titans to run in 2013. He isn’t going to start over Jake Locker and I expect Locker understands the job is his but that he must continue to improve.
Locker is entering the 3rd year of a 4 year rookie deal he entered on 7/29/2011. It is a four-year, $12,586,002 contract. The deal is fully guaranteed, including a $7,653,456 signing bonus and in 2013 he receives $1,519,182. In 2014 he receives $2,091,273, He is a free agent in 2015. www.rotoworld
This next year is a crucial one for Locker who is still recovering from left (non throwing) shoulder surgery. Fitzpatrick is only signed through 2014 and details aren’t currently known but this could make Rusty Smith a roster bubble as the Titans could very well draft (or bring in as an unrestricted free agent) a devopmental quarterback as a hedge against their bets on Locker. Fitzgerald I believe will prove to be a capable backup but he isn’t going to push Locker for his job. I look to the Titans to bring in a young guy who could push him if not in 2013 then most assuredly in 2014 if Locker struggles again in 2013.
UPDATE: It has now been reported that Fitzpatrick’s deal with the Titans is $3.25 million per year for 2 years for a total of $6.5 million per Ian Rapport of NFL.COM.