Washington signed Ryan Fitzpatrick on Monday, and it's a move I really like. Fitzpatrick has his flaws -- that's why he never sticks anywhere for long -- but he's had some nice hot streaks along the way, and helped a lot of pass catchers. The next one should be Terry McLaurin.
Fitzpatrick was having a nice half-season for Miami when he was unceremoniously benched, and so were his main receivers. DeVante Parker, as a for instance, had two of his three 100-yard games and 3 of his 4 touchdowns with Fitzpatrick at quarterback.
And McLaurin, as I pointed out here a couple of weeks back, has had one of the better starts to his career of any wideout this century. The 2019 third-rounder has totaled 2037 yards his first two season despite working with a handful of quarterbacks who won't be starting anywhere this season: Dwayne Haskins, Alex Smith, Case Keenum, Kyle Allen, Colt McCoy.
Fitzpatrick has bounced around the league -- to say the least: Washington will be his 9th team, and 8th in the last 12 years -- but he's been wide-receiver friendly. Since 2008, he's been involved in offenses that have produced 13 top-25 wideouts (including a pair with the Jets in 2015, as noted in the Corey Davis writeup yesterday). Fitzpatrick split times with other quarterbacks (e.g., Jameis Winston) in a couple of those seasons and doesn't deserve all the credit. But his resume is decorated with getting the best out of a lot of wide receivers.
Table shows all the wideouts Fitzpatrick has worked with in his years as a starter, who wound up ranking in the top 50 at their position. Includes 10 1,000-yard seasons, and seven more with at least 800 yards. As noted, Fitzpatrick wasn't the only quarterback on a couple of those teams, but a nice track record.
|FITZPATRICK WIDEOUTS, 2008-2020|
|2015||Brandon Marshall, NYJ||173||109||1502||13.8||14||3|
|2018||Mike Evans, T.B.||138||86||1524||17.7||8||9|
|2010||Stevie Johnson, Buff.||141||82||1073||13.1||10||10|
|2019||DeVante Parker, Mia.||128||72||1202||16.7||9||11|
|2015||Eric Decker, NYJ||132||80||1027||12.8||12||13|
|2014||DeAndre Hopkins, Hou.||127||76||1210||15.9||6||14|
|2011||Stevie Johnson, Buff.||134||76||1004||13.2||7||16|
|2017||Mike Evans, T.B.||136||71||1001||14.1||5||17|
|2012||Stevie Johnson, Buff.||148||79||1046||13.2||6||18|
|2013||Kendall Wright, Ten.||139||94||1079||11.5||2||20|
|2008||T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cin.||137||92||904||9.8||4||21|
|2018||Adam Humphries, T.B.||105||76||816||10.7||5||24|
|2018||Chris Godwin, T.B.||95||59||842||14.3||7||25|
|2009||Terrell Owens, Buff.||109||55||829||15.1||5||27|
|2014||Andre Johnson, Hou.||146||85||936||11.0||3||28|
|2013||Nate Washington, Ten.||105||58||919||15.8||3||35|
|2011||David Nelson, Buff.||97||61||658||10.8||5||39|
|2020||DeVante Parker, Mia.||103||63||793||12.6||4||40|
|2009||Lee Evans, Buff.||96||44||612||13.9||7||41|
|2018||DeSean Jackson, T.B.||74||41||774||18.9||4||43|
|2017||DeSean Jackson, T.B.||90||50||668||13.4||3||45|
|2016||Quincy Enunwa, NYJ||105||58||857||14.8||4||45|
|2008||Chad Johnson, Cin.||97||53||540||10.2||4||47|
|2016||Brandon Marshall, NYJ||128||59||788||13.4||3||49|
|2017||Adam Humphries, T.B.||83||61||631||10.3||1||50|
Washington will add another wide receiver, with Curtis Samuel (who of course has a connection with Ron Rivera) mentioned frequently. But no one should be overly concerned about such an addition negatively affecting McLaurin; DJ Moore went over 1,100 yards each of the last two seasons.
Maybe Fitzpatrick struggles and gets benched at some point; that's been his history. At times Kyle Allen, and then Taylor Heinicke in the playoffs, flashed potential to get a shot. But it should primarily be Fitzpatrick. Good news for McLaurin.