Should the Bengals re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick? Last season we saw how important a back-up QB can be so the Bengals should be giving this serious thought.
As I have written before, Scouts Inc. has him ranked 19th out of 19 free agent QBs but Sporting News ranked him 7th.
Fitzpatrick has proved to be an elusive runner, but how does he stack up as a passer? Football Outsiders has some pretty innovative statistics to evaluate passers who threw a minimum of 100 passes in 2008. QBs are ranked according to two criteria: DYAR or Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement and Defense-adjusted Value over Average or DVOA. DYAR gives the value of a QB's performance compared to replacement level, adjusted for situation and opponent and then adjusted for yardage. DVOA represents the value, per play, over an average QB in the same game situation. The more positive the DVOA rating, the better the player's performance. Using this criteria, in 2008, Fitzpatrick is ranked 37/41 in terms of DYAR and is ranked 35/41in terms of DVOA.
Should the Bengals re-sign him?
I have written before I like Dan Orlovsky with the Lions. He is ranked significantly higher as a passer (26/41 on DYAR and 23/41 on DVOA). I think he is a much better fit for the Bengals and would seem to command about the same money.
Orlovsky and Fitpatrick both have been in the league for four seasons. They both played as rookies in 2005 and then in 2008. Both have similar statistics in 2008. Orlovsky had 8 TDs/8 Ints./1616 yards for a 72.6 rating. Fitzpatrick has 8 TDs/9 Ints./1905 yards for a 70.0 rating.
Orlovsky may not have a Harvard degree like Fitzpatrick (and, incidentally, Mike Brown) but he is bigger (6'5"/230 lbs. v. 6'2"/225 lbs.). His game is much more similar to Carson Palmer's than is Fitzpatrick's so Orlovsky may be a better fit for the Bengals.