ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Bills sacked quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick during day one of free agency. Fitzpatrick found out about his release while flying from New York City to his home in Arizona. He told News 4 Tuesday night that he has mixed emotions about leaving Buffalo.
LISTEN | Hear News 4's full interview with Ryan Fitzpatrick (3:30)
Fitzpatrick,"I thank the fans for a great experience, this is four years of my life that I'll look back on with fond memories. I wish we could have been more successful, I wish I could have done more the last few years to give the fans what they really deserve and that's a Bills team that's a winner and get back in the playoffs."
The news came just hours after an online report that included audio from a conversation between GM Buddy Nix and Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik. In the prank call, Nix stated, "We just can't afford to pay that kind of money for a guy who's fighting for probably a backup job."
MORE | Hear what else Nix said
Fitzpatrick had a 20 and 33 record as the Bills starting quarterback over the last four years. Fitzpatrick had signed a contract extension in 2011 with $24 million in guaranteed money.
For the Bills, the move became necessary to save a $3 million roster bonus that was due Wednesday. Fitzpatrick and the Bills had been trying to work out a restructuring of his contract and pay cut in the last week.
Fitzpatrick said, "We had talked about restructuring, taking a pay cut, I don't really want to get in to the financial details of it, that's about as far as we'll go into it, but like I said it didn't just ever really work out."
Some of Fitzpatrick's teammates responded to the news on Twitter. Stevie Johnson tweeted, "Wouldn't have been anything without 14. Thank you Fitz for making me better, wish you and the fam all the best."
CJ Spiller send out a tweet saying, "Just finished talking with my man Fitz about an hour ago, I want to wish him and his family the best in the near future, it was great for me to play with him."
The big question now is, where do the Buffalo Bills go from here? They currently have one quarterback with NFL experience on the roster with Tavaris Jackson, but he didn't see any playing time last year. Free agency started Tuesday, and the Buffalo Bills will likely be drafting a quarterback at the draft next month.
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