CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 02: Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Buffalo Bills prepares to throw a pass before the start the NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting that while the Buffalo Bills and the representatives for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick have stalled negotiations for the remainder of the bye week, the two sides may be closing in on a lucrative contract extension for the signal-caller.
Sources tell Mortensen that a deal could be reached next week; that the two sides would like to get a deal completed before Buffalo's next game (on October 30 against Washington); and that the deal is expected to pay Fitzpatrick between $9-12 million annually. The report uses the six-year, $63 million contract Matt Cassel signed in Kansas City as a baseline for Fitzpatrick's deal, though there's no mention of a duration on Fitzpatrick's deal in the report.
Fitzpatrick is now 8-11 over two seasons as Chan Gailey's starting quarterback. In those 19 games, he's thrown for 4,477 yards with 35 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. September's AFC Offensive Player of the Month will turn 29 on November 24. The former seventh-round pick (we forget where he went to college) is earning $3.195 million in base salary this season.
Obviously, the Bills appear ready to pay a steep price for Fitzpatrick that many of you expressed concern about when we brought up those numbers over the summer. How would everyone feel now if Fitzpatrick got, at minimum, Cassel-type money?