Buccaneers agree to deal with free-agent QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick was the starting quarterback for the Jets the last two seasons and shined in 2015, throwing for 3,905 yards and 31 touchdowns. It starts with quarterback Jameis Winston, but the organization has really stepped up their effort to surround him with talent.

Tampa Bay needed a backup for Winston after his former backup, Mike Glennon, signed with Chicago in the offseason for three years and $43.5 million.

The Buccaneers will be Fitzpatrick's seventh team in his career.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have found their replacement at backup quarterback. Fitzpatrick is coming off a two-year run with the New York Jets that was marked by one terrific season, a long contract dispute and one disappointing season.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is back in the NFL. To make room on the 90-man offseason roster, the Buccaneers have waived quarterback Sean Renfree. Prior to the addition of Fitzpatrick, the rest of the Bucs' QB depth chart was filled out by Renfree, Ryan Griffin and undrafted rookie Sefo Liufau, none of whom has started a regular-season National Football League game. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams and also has played for the Bengals, Titans and Texans.

He has 25,888 career passing yards, 166 touchdown passes and a 79.9 passing rating. The former Harvard University graduate started 116 games over the course of 12 seasons, going 46-69-1. He became a free agent following the season and signed a three-year deal with the Bills, where he took over as the starter for an injured Trent Edwards at midseason. The Buccaneers, looking to upgrade their offensive production, signed receiver DeSean Jackson in free agency and added Alabama's O.J. Howard, the top-rated tight end in the 2017 draft class, in the first round.

Fitzpatrick's season was defined by shaky stylings under center, and his six-interception performance in Week 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs represented a low point.

  • Julie Sanders