Before that? Let it ride. Make him work. PLEASE.
Buddy, Chan, Doug… Ralph… Just take into consideration that Ryan has extreme consistency issues, or at least did in 2010, before you offer him an extension. The stories are circulating that the Bills front office is talking over a long-term extension with their starting quarterback. I can’t help but believe that this is Ralph seeing his statline against Kansas City last week and wondering aloud if he has the next Jim Kelly under center.
Fitzpatrick is in a contract year and the team has been gunning for that quality starting quarterback for fifteen years now, and most fans (myself included) would rather see that player come from the draft and learn behind a veteran, such as Fitzpatrick. For the past two years that this regime has been in place, they’ve missed on their quarterback of the future in April. I can applaud them for not reaching for someone they didn’t value highly, but not making the play for who you want and settling is not the way to win in this league. With the wealth of talent at the quarterback position coming up this April, I’d be absolutely disgusted if the Bills didn’t make a move to acquire a prospect such as Southern Cal’s Matt Barkley, Boise’s Kellen Moore, Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins, or consensus ‘Pick of the century’ Andrew Luck out of Stanford. Don’t get me wrong, I love the way Fitzpatrick plays the game… sometimes.
Ryan’s 2010 was very bumpy and filled with inconsistency, and I do believe that this year will be better now that the starting job is definitively his and he has spent the past few months building a rapport with his center, tailbacks, and receivers, but at the same time I want to know that he’s alleviated those issues to some degree before the team fills up his bank account. 14 is a scrappy player, a smart player, and has a killer beard but doesn’t have the best arm, and that’s a severe understatement. Some of his throws against the Chiefs looked like a fluttering Chad Pennington lob – and those were the ones he was putting his whole body into. If they are talking extension with him at the moment, I’d hope that it’s a short-term, modest return type of deal that would allow him to start and teach while the team develops the true successor that they should be taking in April.
If they’re talking long-term and big money, I seriously hope that they wait until the bye week, at least, to evaluate the deal. I just don’t want to have the excitement build over another extension only to have the player wash out of the city within the next season or two. It’s a terrible trend that we’ve seen enough of over the years and it needs to stop.