NFL Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans Land Ryan Fitzpatrick to Back Up Jake Locker

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Hours after they announced the release of veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, the Tennessee Titans insured themselves by signing another recently released veteran. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has spent the past four seasons with the Buffalo Bills as their starting quarterback (but couldn’t quite get their offense over the hump) is now set to back up Jake Locker.

What the Titans receive in Fitzpatrick is a fairly dependable and average quarterback. He will no doubt be one of the better backups in the league after signing with the Titans, but he has never been more than a consistently average quarterback. Maybe this is a good thing for Tennessee, because current starter Jake Locker has failed to be consistent. The team still shows faith in the young prospect, though.

In his four seasons with the Bills, Fitzpatrick had shown signs of being “the guy” at times, but at others he would hear boos from his home crowd after tossing multiple picks in a game on several occasions. His career quarterback rating is an unimpressive 76.8 to go along with 92 career touchdowns and 81 interceptions. He has also lost 23 fumbles in his career.

Last season, Fitzpatrick was aided by an offense with two feature running backs in C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. Both backs were hurt at one point or another however, so it was tough for Fitzpatrick to know what he was going to get out of the running game. Despite this fact, he still managed quite possibly the best season of his career, statistically, throwing for 24 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

Although Locker is said to be the team’s sure fire starter come week 1 in September, I would not be surprised if Fitzpatrick is called upon at some point throughout the year. He had interest from several teams who knew that he could come in at any time, ready to compete. The only question now is, what are the Bills going to do?

Ryan Heckman is a Minnesota Timberwolves writer and NFL contributor for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google