He appeared to be running circles around rookie teammate Tua Tagovailoa with the Miami Dolphins, bailing out the team time and time again as they hung in the AFC playoff race.
Fitzpatrick also arguably delivered the most iconic play of his career last December, completing a 34-yard miraculous pass to wide receiver Mack Hollins.
He did this while being egregiously face-masked by a Las Vegas Raiders defender.
The Washington Football Team saw all of this poise and composure down the stretch of the season, and decided to give Fitzpatrick the keys to a team that seemed just a quarterback away from being a real player in the NFC.
Unfortunately for the team and for the grizzled veteran, it wasn’t meant to be.
Fitzpatrick suffered a hip injury in Week 1 of the season, and his recovery has not gone as planned.
A serious and scary injury for Ryan Fitzpatrick. It is Taylor Heinicke going forward for the next several weeks at the very least, with Kyle Allen as the backup. https://t.co/1pVbTIKaA2
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 13, 2021
The team placed him on injured reserve a few days ago, ending his 2021 campaign.
Fitzpatrick was on a one-year deal in the nation’s capital, and suddenly his NFL future is unclear once again.
Here are two teams who may try to catch FitzMagic in a bottle in 2022, assuming he can recover from his hip ailment.
2. Denver Broncos
They don’t get a lot of attention as it relates to skill position groups, but the Denver Broncos quietly have stocked their roster full of young, exciting talent.
The missing piece, as it has been for years in Denver, has been under center.
Bridgewater has done a good job in Denver this year, but if the franchise really wants to get into the thick of the division and playoff mix, they might need someone who can utilize their weapons to the fullest extent.
Fitzpatrick was throwing receivers open with the Dolphins, and would be more equipped to keep Denver close in projected shootouts against the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers.
1. Carolina Panthers
After a feel good 3-0 start to the NFL season, the Carolina Panthers appear to be something of a rudderless ship with each passing week.
The team traded draft picks to acquire Sam Darnold, and picked up his fifth-year option before the season.
Darnold’s eye-opening start faded into the background almost as quickly as it appeared, and the team has been scrambling ever since.
Carolina turned back the clock and made amends with former franchise cornerstone Cam Newton, hoping he could be the answer once again.
While he has provided some glimpses of the athleticism he still has, Newton hasn’t shown much more as a passer than he did with the New England Patriots in 2020.
To make things more dramatic, the Panthers fired offensive coordinator Joe Brady earlier in the week as well.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is now top 35 in NFL history in both pass yards AND pass TD.
A career of magic. pic.twitter.com/DY7RNFcXSL
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) September 25, 2020
For a team turning over every leaf in hopes of finding production under center, they could do worse than taking a flier on Fitzpatrick.