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Ryan Fitzpatrick joins the NFC East

Washington has a new quarterback.

Miami Dolphins v New York Jets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

While you were sleeping last night, the Washington Football Team reportedly agreed to terms with veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The 38-year-old journeyman is expected to compete with Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen for the starting job.

There are both pros and cons to this news for the Philadelphia Eagles.

On the positive side for the Birds, Washington seems to be passing on investing in a long-term option under center. This is preferable to seeing the Football Team do something like trade for Deshaun Watson. Fitzpatrick will likely be good enough to keep Washington out of getting a very high pick in the 2022 NFL Draft but not good enough to help them seriously compete for a Super Bowl.

On the negative side, pairing Fitzpatrick with Washington’s strong defense gives the 2020 NFC East champions a chance to repeat in 2021. The Eagles went 0-2 against Ron Rivera last year and there’s no guarantee they get a win this season. Washington’s new quarterback has given Philly’s defense the fits (pun intended) in the past:

Of course, the Eagles will have a new-look defense with Schwartz gone. For what it’s worth, the Indianapolis Colts held Fitzpatrick to a 63.8 passer rating when they played the Miami Dolphins in 2019. New Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon was Indy’s cornerbacks coach at the time.

Ultimately, Fitzpatrick figures to be an upgrade from what Washington was working with at quarterback last year: Dwayne Haskins (clear bust who got cut), Allen (more of a backup), Alex Smith (could barely move), and Heinicke (former XFL backup). Fitzpatrick’s 2020 rankings:

  • Passer rating: 19th
  • PFF grade: 19th
  • DVOA: 16th
  • QBR: 6th

There’s a case to be made Fitzpatrick is the second-best quarterback in the NFC East. How would you rank the division’s starters?

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