Bengals meet with Ryan Fitzpatrick

Former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick met with his old team, the Bengals, Sunday in Arizona. (USATSI)
Former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick met with his old team, the Bengals, on Sunday in Arizona.(USATSI)

The Cincinnati Bengals met with free-agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday, according to the team's official site. Fitzpatrick was released by the Buffalo Bills last week.

The quarterback was seen talking with Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis and there are other indications that Fitzpatrick met with team president Mike Brown in private, according to the report.

Fitzpatrick, 30, could be an ideal fit for the Bengals -- if he's interested in backing up Andy Dalton. He certainly had a rough past week or so in Buffalo, especially after the team's general manager, Buddy Nix, was caught on tape telling Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik that Fitzpatrick was getting paid too much just to compete for a backup job.

"We’re still struggling here with our quarterback. I say struggling. We’re not really struggling," Nix said. "He’s going to have to do something, or we’ll have to. You can’t afford to pay that kind of money to a guy that’s fighting for probably a backup job.”

That's a role Fitzpatrick could certainly play. Though, to Nix's credit, $10 million may be a bit much to pay a guy just to help groom a rookie quarterback. But it makes sense for the Bengals, especially now that former backup Bruce Gradkowski is gone. Plus, Fitzpatrick spent two years in Cincinnati as Carson Palmer's backup, and he can ably step in if Dalton goes down.

For his part, Fitzpatrick at least seems open to the idea of being a backup.

"I see myself being a very valuable guy in that regard," he told the Buffalo News. "For me, pride is never going to get in the way. But respect and pride can maybe go hand-in-hand. It's probably more respect than pride."

Fitzpatrick threw for 3,400 yards last season with 24 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

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