It appears the Buffalo Bills are close to striking a deal to keep Ryan Fitzpatrick as the franchise's starting quarterback beyond this season.
According to an NFL.com report, the sides are moving toward agreement on a multiyear deal that will pay Fitzpatrick about $10 million per season. According to the report, the two sides have been talking in earnest since the Sept. 25 win over New England and had hoped to reach a deal this week, but with the Bills on a bye, the players out of town and their facility seemingly closed for the weekend, it appears the earliest it would be announced would be Monday.
The Bills expressed their faith in Fitzpatrick last offseason when they opted not to draft a quarterback in the first round with the third overall pick. While that faith didn't produce a contract extension prior to the start of this season, the Bills' 4-2 start and the fact the club ranks second in the league in total points appear to have factored into the desire to extend Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick has thrown for 12 touchdowns and six interceptions and 1,477 yards this season.
He entered 2011 in the final season of a three-year, $6.9 million contract he signed to be the backup to former starting quarterback Trent Edwards, earning a base salary of $3.1 million. Edwards' struggles led to Fitzpatrick starting eight games in 2009 before taking the job from Edwards once and for all after Week Two of the 2010 season.
Fitzpatrick threw for 3,000 yards, 23 TDs and 15 interceptions in 13 starts last season.
While Fitzpatrick is 12-15 in games he has started with the Bills, he is 8-5 in his last 13 starts -- throwing for 22 TDs, 14 interceptions and 2,978 yards in that stretch.