Ryan Fitzpatrick returns to Buccaneers on 1-year deal
Fitzpatrick, 35, was brought in by Tampa Bay to be the backup to Jameis Winston and to provide some mentorship for the 24-year-old starting quarterback. Fitzpatrick proved to be much more than a steadying force, though, stepping in for Winston in four games and winning two of his three starts.
In Week 6 against the Arizona Cardinals, Fitzpatrick completed 68 percent of his passes, throwing for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also threw for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns in a last-second 30-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Week 11.
Although interceptions have plagued Fitzpatrick throughout his career, he was able to keep them under control last season, throwing just three. He also showed he's still capable of handling spot starts and possibly even starting a full season on another team.
"At this point in my career, I'm not gonna be given or gifted a chance to start anywhere, probably," Fitzpatrick said. "There's a lot of things that weigh into [the decision to play] now that maybe didn't years ago, in terms of family and different situations. I enjoyed the year that I had here."
ESPN's Jenna Laine contributed to this report.