Thursday, October 20, 2011
Bills would be wise to extend Fitzpatrick
By James Walker
The Buffalo Bills could be on the verge of major contract news during their bye. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that Buffalo is working on an extension with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick that could be completed before its next game, Oct. 30 against the Washington Redskins.
The deal could range between $9 million and $12 million per year, Mortensen reports. That would put Fitzpatrick in the "second tier" of quarterbacks in terms of salary.
Although the price tag is steep, extending Fitzpatrick would be a wise move. All teams have to pay a "quarterback premium," which also occurred in deals for quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Kevin Kolb.
The Bills are one of the NFL's biggest surprises at 4-2 , and Fitzpatrick is a major reason. He's thrown for 1,477 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Buffalo has three core players on offense -- Fitzpatrick, receiver Steve Johnson and tailback Fred Jackson -- who deserve pay raises. Taking care of the quarterback first is always in the team's best interest. From there, the Bills should keep Johnson and Jackson long-term and allow the team to blossom around this trio.