Former Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has agreed to terms with Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers announced Friday. ESPN reported through a source that it is a one-year, $3-million deal.
The Bucs are the seventh NFL team for Fitzpatrick, 34. After being drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2005, he played for Cincinnati, Buffalo, Tennessee and Houston before signing with the Jets before the 2015 season.
He will back up Jameis Winston, who has started all 32 games since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2015. Winston’s previous backup, Mike Glennon, signed a free-agent deal with the Chicago Bears in March.
Fitzpatrick is familiar with the backup role, but he always has made it clear that he sees himself as an NFL starter.
After Geno Smith’s jaw was broken during a locker-room altercation with then-teammate IK Enemkpali during training camp in 2015, Fitzpatrick was named the starter. He threw a career-high 31 touchdown passes as the Jets went 10-6 that season, but they fell a victory short of making the playoffs after Fitzpatrick’s three-interception fourth quarter in Buffalo in the season finale.
The expectations for the Jets were even higher in 2016, but Fitzpatrick went 3-8 as the starter and was benched in favor of Smith and then Bryce Petty. The Jets went 5-11.
Fitzpatrick, heading into his 13th season, has 25,888 passing yards, 166 touchdown passes and 133 interceptions in his career.
The Jets will face the Bucs in Tampa on Nov. 12.