Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is retiring, ending a 17-year NFL career that spanned nine teams, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed on Thursday.
The decision was made public when former Bills teammate Fred Jackson tweeted a screenshot of a text message from Fitzpatrick.
“Forever grateful for the magical ride,” the message read.
Fitzpatrick, 39, who became a fan favorite to many with his distinctive beard and trademark antics, is in talks to join Amazon’s NFL coverage as he enters retirement, the person confirmed, although his exact role is unclear.
The Harvard graduate was the last quarterback selected in the 2005 draft, when the Rams chose him in the seventh round with the 250th overall pick. He passed for more touchdowns than any quarterback in that draft class except for the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers.
Fitzpatrick earned the nickname “FitzMagic” for his memorable performances off the bench and timely plays under pressure. In the locker room, he developed a reputation as a player with a knack for keeping it light and easing the nerves of younger players.
Amazon, which will begin broadcasting “Thursday Night Football” exclusively this year, declined to comment on Fitzpatrick’s future.
Gore goes out a 49er
Frank Gore signed a one-day contract with the 49ers and announced his retirement.
Gore spent the first 10 years of his 16-year career with the 49ers and returned to end his career as one of the most prolific runners in league history.
Gore joined the 49ers as a third-round pick in 2005 after overcoming torn ACLs in both knees in college at the University of Miami. Despite that injury history, Gore became one of the most durable backs in his career, rushing for at least 500 yards a record 16 times, with nine seasons of at least 1,000 yards rushing and five Pro Bowl nods.
“One of the very first things I told the 49ers organization when they drafted me in 2005 was that they got the right guy,” Gore said in a statement issued through the team. “I knew early on that I wouldn’t let my college career define me in regards to injuries, and that I would have to outwork a lot of people to get to where I wanted to be. After 10 years in San Francisco and 16 years in the NFL, I can confidently say that I put all I had into the game of football.”
Gore rushed for a franchise-record 11,073 yards in his 10 years with the 49ers and finished his career with an even 16,000 after playing for the Colts, Dolphins, Bills, and Jets. Gore last played in 2020 for the Jets, when he moved into third place all time in rushing behind only Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton.
Young on track
Star pass rusher Chase Young returned to the Commanders’ practice facility to continue rehabbing a torn ACL in his right knee.
The 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year did not take part in on-field workouts and remains on track in his recovery plan, but it’s too soon to know when he’ll be back on the practice field and fully healthy.
“I wouldn’t put a timetable on it,” Young said. “Obviously, I want to be back there as fast as I can, but right now I’m just taking it one day at a time and I’m getting better fast. I know that. Just taking it one day at a time. I can’t rush it.”
There’s no real rush since the season opener against the Jaguars is still three months away. The game marks roughly 11 months since Young injured his knee and just short of that since he had reconstruction surgery, which included grafting part of the patellar tendon from his left knee to fix the tear.
Young brushed off concern about needing to rebuild trust in two legs instead of one, though the more complicated surgery could explain why he, trainers, surgeon Dr. James Andrews, and team doctors are taking a cautious approach.
“Everything is going as planned,” Young said. “I’m happy where I’m at, and I’m confident on everything I’m doing going forward.”
Young missed the first week of voluntary organized team activities while working out at a facility in Colorado, which the 23-year-old Ohio State product said was also part of the plan because of “tools and gadgets” there designed to get him back fast.
Young spent part of Wednesday’s practice time inside the Commanders’ facility, but also was out on the field close to defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio so he could hear signals and watch his teammates take snaps.
The Jets will induct former cornerback Darrelle Revis, center Nick Mangold, and left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson into the team’s Ring of Honor during separate halftime ceremonies this season. The team announced that Mangold will be the first honored with a ceremony at MetLife Stadium during the game against the Bengals on Sept. 25. Ferguson’s induction will be Oct. 30 against the Patriots, and Revis’s will be Nov. 27 against the Bears. The three played most of their NFL careers together with the Jets and are among the most popular players in franchise history. They are also the first players to be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor since Pro Football Hall of Fame center Kevin Mawae in 2017 … The Bills signed veteran receiver Tavon Austin, a person with direct knowledge of the deal confirmed to the Associated Press. Austin was an unrestricted free agent after appearing in seven games last season with the Jaguars, with whom he had 24 catches for 213 yards and a touchdown. He missed the start of last season because of a groin injury. He has nine seasons of NFL experience and has failed to play up to expectations after being selected with the No. 8 pick in the 2013 draft by the Rams … The Falcons signed wide receiver Cameron Batson, who comes to the team with connections to coach Arthur Smith and quarterback Marcus Mariota. Batson, 26, had 22 catches for 197 yards with two touchdowns in three seasons with Tennessee, including two with Smith as tight ends coach and offensive coordinator. Batson started three games. Batson’s first catch in 2018 came on a pass from Mariota, who is preparing for his first season with Atlanta.