He may never have reached superstar status, but Ryan Fitzpatrick still garners widespread respect across the NFL. The true definition of a journeyman, the Miami Dolphins quarterback has provided flashes of brilliance for a number of franchises, including every AFC East team except the New England Patriots. Fitzpatrick is also a dedicated father who just so happens to have nearly as many kids as NFL teams he’s played for.
Ryan Fitzpatrick got his big break in Buffalo
Ryan Fitzpatrick did not play his college ball at a powerhouse program. Instead, he starred at a university known for churning out doctors and lawyers rather than future NFL players. Still, despite playing at Harvard, Fitzpatrick proved he belonged in the league.
Originally a seventh-round pick by the then-St. Louis Rams, the 6-foot-2, 228-pounder got his big break with the Buffalo Bills. After joining the team in 2009, Fitzpatrick started 53 games, posting a 20-33 record. Though he turned the ball over quite a bit, the Arizona native also flashed exciting playmaking ability. Fitzpatrick threw 71 touchdown passes between 2010-2012.
However, the gunslinger failed to turn the Bills into a playoff contender. After the team went 6-10 in back-to-back seasons, Buffalo moved on from Fitzpatrick.
The journeyman QB joined the Dolphins in 2019
Following his age-30 season, Ryan Fitzpatrick embarked on a tour around the league. He spent a year with the Tennessee Titans before latching on with the Houston Texans in 2014. A two-year stint with the New York Jets preceded a two-year tour with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Fitzpatrick ended up staying in Florida, as he signed a two-year, $11 million deal to join the Dolphins. Of course, he took over a team that gutted its roster as part of a rebuilding effort.
Yet, Fitzpatrick managed to go 5-8 as a starter. He finished the 2019 season with 3,529 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. His QBR of 66.6 easily ranked as the best mark of his career.
This season, the 37-year-old has played even more efficient football. Through three games, Fitzpatrick has completed 71.1% of his passes and has a QBR of 81.0.
Fitzpatrick has nearly as many kids as NFL teams he’s played for
Since entering the NFL in 2005, Ryan Fitzpatrick has donned a number of different uniforms. In fact, the man who got selected 250th overall has played for eight franchises. While that number certainly stands out, so does the number of children Fitzpatrick has fathered.
The former Ivy League Player of the Year actually has nearly as many kids as NFL teams he’s played for. Fitzpatrick and his wife, Liza Barber, have seven children together.
Of course, that can be a challenge when it comes time to watching their dad play on Sundays. According to The Palm Beach Post, that forced Fitzpatrick’s wife to find a solution to transport her and her seven kids to Dolphins games.
“We have a big ol’ Nissan NV, a 12-passenger van that basically is just a people mover that she’ll drive back and forth,” Fitzpatrick said. “Seven kids on its own every day is amazing, but watching her walk through an airport with seven kids is pretty incredible as well. I know she could write a book.”
But don’t think his wife will let him off easy. In fact, Ryan Fitzpatrick already acknowledged he has some catching up to do when he finally retires.
“I want to be a full-time dad for a little bit and then I know after that, I’ll try to figure it out from there,” he said. “I know I owe my wife a lot of emptying of the dishwasher and other little chores that I have neglected to do during the season.”
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.