Ryan Fitzpatrick’s time as a Miami Dolphin looks over as the well-travelled quarterback now seems to be set on joining the Washington Football Team on a one-year deal worth around $10 million that could grow to $12 million with incentives.
Breaking: Ryan Fitzpatrick reached agreement with the Washington Football Team on a one-year deal worth $10 million that could grow to $12 million with incentives, per @AdamSchefter.
Fitzpatrick is expected to head to camp as the starter, with competition from Taylor Heinicke. pic.twitter.com/ivlsqIw2jD
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 16, 2021
He is not the only veteran quarterback on the move with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton believed to be ready to move on, this time to the Chicago Bears if reports are to be believed.
Let’s take a look at both these deals individually and gauge the somewhat polarizing reactions of fans of Washington and Chicago to the news.
Fitzmagic In Washington Next Season?
It is fair to say that there has been a mixed response to the news that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be under center in Washington next season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick? Are you fucking kidding me? You could’ve got us Watson, Wilson, Dak, Cam, Sam Darnold, Stafford, and you get us the dude that looks like he should be the poster boy for gamblers anonymous. I hope I wake up tomorrow and this was a nightmare
— hello darkness, my old friend (@TPizzle70) March 16, 2021
While some fans believe that the deal will ensure that Washington will sign a young quarterback in the draft, using this year for them to effectively learn the ropes under Fitzpatrick, others have pointed out that the Redskins already have a potentially exciting young quarterback star in Taylor Heinicke.
Given the deal, it does look like the long-term plan in Washington is for a new quarterback to come in for the 2022 season. Whether that will be Heinicke, or someone that they draft this year and then sit down to learn the offense for a year, remains to be seen.
However, after impressing in the limited time he had last season, it would be a surprise if Washington were ready to bale on Heinicke. As such, that may mean they make a move towards improving the protection for the quarterback, or to improve some of the receiving options he can hit.
Rumoured Dalton Deal Underwhelms Bears Fanbase Expecting More
If the reaction to the Fitzpatrick trade deal could be described as mixed, then there is no doubt that the Bears fans are generally exceptionally unhappy about the mooted and as yet unconfirmed trade deal for Andy Dalton.
What makes the issue more galling for Bears fans is that there had been bullish talk about the Bears pursuing a stud quarterback option, such as the unsettled duo DeShaun Watson (Texans) and Russell Wilson (Seahawks).
Now that the option seems to be Dalton, the reaction from those fans has been one of frustration and in some cases, anger.
If Andy dalton is a bear when I wake up tomorrow I will be driving my car 100 mph into a brick wall with no seatbelt on.
— Nick Gargani (@YoFamNick) March 16, 2021
It is a little unfair on Dalton, who is a serviceable quarterback, but the feeling in the Windy City has been that to make the Bears genuine contenders in the NFC, they need a top ranked signal caller.
Especially having signed lineman Trent Williams to protect the quarterback and franchise tagged star receiver Allen Robinson.
A number of Bears fans are so unhappy with the proposed deal for Dalton that they have demanded the sacking of Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy.
If the #Bears getting Andy Dalton is going to disqualify them from working to trade for Russell Wilson, fire Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy before they can ever step foot in Halas Hall again.
— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) March 16, 2021
Is There A Way Either Deal Can Work For Washington Or Chicago?
It is never nice for a new quarterback to go to a new franchise where the fanbase seems dead set against you from the first day. However, there are some bright points.
In Washington, Ryan Fitzpatrick is a serviceable, talented and sometimes inspired quarterback. He certainly offers a wider range of options than most of Washington’s recent incumbents in the role and if he can get hot, and Fitzmagic happens, then things can get a little wild.
Dalton, for all his detractors in Chicago, is a very experienced player who has never had a great deal of protection afforded him in Cincinnati and has only played a bit part in Dallas.
Dak Prescott re-signing with the Cowboys effectively saw an end to his time in Texas and while he isn’t a tier-1 option, he is considerably cheaper, very durable, serviceable and allows the Bears to strengthen in other areas too.
Maybe the Bears could even draft a quarterback from this year’s deep class of signal callers in the draft. That would be an interesting option for Bears fans to consider.
Pay The Premium Price
In the end, with the NFL cap set at $182.5 million for next season, that has probably meant that Washington and Chicago felt the heavy price they would have to pay to acquire a Watson or Wilson this year would be too big a price to pay for teams that do have needs in other areas too.
However, despite their fan’s lukewarm reaction to the trade deals, there is a lot of sense in the moves both teams have made not just for next season, but perhaps more importantly, for the years beyond that, when the cap will be increased and teams will have more leeway to spend.
It may be then that the real value of these trades becomes apparent to Bears and Washington fans.