By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Prior to his trade from Detroit to Los Angeles over the weekend, veteran quarterback Matt Stafford made it clear to Lions management that he wanted to go “anywhere but New England.”
The Patriots reportedly made an offer all the same, but Stafford’s doubts about coming to Foxborough certainly raised some eyebrows about the appeal of the Patriots’ opening at quarterback.
After all, the Patriots aren’t the only team that’ll be looking for a quarterback this offseason, and there’s no doubt that the Patriots’ offensive threats (as of right now) don’t have the same appeal as some of the other openings.
But Stafford’s feelings aren’t shared by every other quarterback on the market, as Ryan Fitzpatrick explained (at least for himself) during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show.
“For me, I can’t be as picky as Matt Stafford,” Fitzpatrick said when asked about his free agency and if he feels the same as Stafford. “I’ve got people. But that stuff doesn’t really happen until March. So what I’ve learned over the years is not to sit and worry about or put too much time into it until that March date rolls around.”
Would #FitzMagic play for the #Patriots?— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) February 2, 2021
"For me I can't be as picky as Matt Stafford" ???????????? #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/3WdRFpFOGC
A Dolphin for the last two seasons, the 38-year-old Fitzpatrick threw 33 touchdowns in 24 games and totaled a 9-11 record as Miami’s starter over two seasons before losing the starting gig to 2020 first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa last season. Miami was just the latest stop in a 16-year career with eight different stops, and with Fitzpatrick’s 2015 campaign with New York still his best, with a career-high 3,905 yards and 31 touchdowns in 16 games for the Jets.
Fitzpatrick also has significant experience within the AFC East, as he’s played for every AFC East team with the exception of the Patriots, and drew praise from the Patriots’ Bill Belichick last December.
“Fitz has had a good career,” Belichick said. “He’s played in a number of organizations and has been productive in all of them, really. He’s a tough, competitive guy that’s probably as tough as any quarterback in the league in terms of being willing to block, not sliding, getting tough yards, things like that. He’s mentally tough. He can shake things off and just continue to compete. I have a lot of respect for him and what he’s done.”
It probably goes without saying that Fitzpatrick isn’t at the top of the Patriots’ wish list this offseason. The Patriots have the first-round pick and cap space to make a bigger move if they so desire.
But Fitzpatrick’s certainly willing, which is more than we could say for other quarterbacks on the market.
We talked a lot about the QB carousel in the newest episode of the SideLines podcast. Have a listen below.