By Jay Skurski
Ryan Fitzpatrick finished the 2012 season 13th in the NFL in touchdown passes, 16th in completions, and 17th in passer rating.
He is, by those statistical measures, a middle-of-the-road starting quarterback in the NFL. That explains why, when asked today whether he'd consider returning to Buffalo as a backup to a new, young quarterback, Fitzpatrick was less than enthusiastic about the proposition.
"I would hate to speculate on any of that. For me personally, I think I want to play," he said. "That's just who I am. I think I'm a starter in this league and want to play. I'd hate to play the 'what if' game right now, I guess."
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Fitzpatrick also chose not to address a question about whether he'd be open to restructuring his contract.
"I'm not going to do the hypothetical thing," he said.
Asked whether he had a sense of what his future would be, he said: "Not any more than you guys [the media] do, I guess. I mean I think everything's up in the air right now."
Fitzpatrick spoke less than an hour before the Bills made the firing of coach Chan Gailey official. One of the final questions posed to the quarterback during his news conference was about his relationship with Gailey.
"Chan means a lot to me as a person and as a coach. Before he took over here, I was kind of the lost journeyman, bouncing around from team to team," Fitzpatrick said. "He was the guy that gave me my first real shot, the guy that showed a lot of confidence in me and has stood by my side for the last few years. He means a lot to me as a coach and as a person and he’s somebody I’ll always respect."