The team announced Tuesday afternoon that they have released Fitzpatrick, after starting the better part of three seasons with the Bills. After attempting to restructure a contract to keep the quarterback with the organization, Fitzpatrick declined the offer.
According to league sources, the Bills offered Fitzpatrick a four-year deal, with a base salary of $3 million and an opportunity to earn an extra $4 million per season through incentives. Instead of taking the offer, Fitzpatrick declined and the team subsequently moved on.
The cap hit for Fitzpatrick in 2013 will not be the full $10 million, because the Bills are using the post-June 1 waiver designation. That means Fitzpatrick will account for $3 million on this year's cap, and $7 million on the 2014 salary cap.
Fitzpatrick originally signed a six-year, $59 million contract extension during the 2011 season that forced the Bills to make a decision on Wednesday, March 13 at the latest. If Fitzpatrick remained on the roster past that date, the Bills would have owed him a $3 million roster bonus. If the quarterback remained on the roster in 2013, he would have carried a cap hit of $10.45 million.
General Manager Buddy Nix said the following of the release:
"We kept every possible option open right down to the wire when we had to make the decision on whether to keep Ryan. In the end, we had to do what we feel is best for our football team and it was a very difficult decision.
"Ryan did some great things as our starting quarterback. He is a class act, a terrific guy with a great family and has been involved in many charitable endeavors in our community. But difficult decisions often have to be made and so we are moving forward. We wish Ryan and his family the best of luck in the future and offer him our sincere thanks for everything he has done for the Bills.”
Fitzpatrick played four seasons with the Bills, amassing a 20-33 record in 53 total starts. He threw for a total of 11,654 yards, 81 touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns 64 interceptions, had 15 fumbles lost and a 59.8 completion percentage.