Ryan Fitzpatrick was a great meme. He wasn’t a great player, but he was an entertaining one. I’m sad to see him go. The league needs a guy like him around.

He might have a claim to the best backup QB in history. Not for his skill or play, he’s far worse than other options (I love you Jeff Hostetler), but in sheer memorability. Can you really think of a more memorable backup QB? Part of this is probably recency bias, but the guy had his own nicknames (Fitzmagic and Fitztragic) despite never being on a team longer than two years (except the Bills, with 4 seasons) and never touching a playoff game.

That’s the stat that really gets me. Fitz played 17 seasons as a pro. 17 years. He never once appeared in a playoff game. Not even as a backup to someone better he’d eventually replace. Fitz never set foot on a football field after week 17. The closest he came was 2015 with the Jets at 10-6, but they just missed the dance partially due to him going full Fitztagic at the end of the year. It was almost as if he dedicated himself to keeping his own sad streak intact.

Fitz always seemed like a pretty cool guy. One of the strange things about him is that I’m not sure if he could sign with any team for a one-day contract after 17 years. Does any fanbase think of Fitz as “theirs”, the way Denver would claim someone like Von Miller despite going and winning elsewhere? Or how Frank Gore is going to be a 49er forever? The Bills are the only team that might have some emotional claim over Fitz since he was there the longest. Fitz never led the Bills out of the basement though.

Personally, I think the best thing he could do would be to sign a one-day contract with every team he hasn’t yet played for and then retire. He picks his final spot, and it can be a new team or one of his 9 previous teams. He’s made a career out of swindling general managers out of millions for no benefit, I wonder how much he could get if he tried to meme himself out one last time for the yucks.