BOSTON (CBS) — Whether the Patriots go with a veteran free agent, or if they finagle a trade, or if they draft a rookie high in the first round to fill their quarterback void remains unknown. But if the team does opt to go the veteran free-agent route, it appears as though one option has been taken off the board.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is apparently leaning toward retirement, potentially ending an impressive career for the Harvard graduate.

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That’s according to longtime NFL reporter John Clayton, who wrote for The Fan in Denver that the 38-year-old Fitzpatrick has not received much interest from teams thus far in the offseason.

“Ryan Fitzpatrick looks like he’s going to retire,” Clayton wrote. “The Broncos did make some contact with him. He’s been with eight teams and played a long time. But it looks like he’s going to be out of the mix.”

Of course, free agency does not technically begin until March 17, with the legal negotiating window opening on March 15. So while Fitzpatrick and his agent have likely gotten the indication from enough teams to get that sense of a lack of interest, something could obviously change in the coming week.

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Update: That has apparently changed, as Ian Rapoport reported Monday afternoon that Fitzpatrick does plan on playing in 2021 and should have a solid free agent market. Funny how quick things change in NFL free agency, even when free agency isn’t even open.

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If Fitzpatrick does retire, he’ll do so after lasting 16 years with eight different teams after being drafted in the seventh round of the 2005 draft. He completed 60.7 percent of his 5,054 passes for 34,977 yards with 223 touchdowns and 169 interceptions, posting a win-loss record of 59-86-1. He was Miami’s starting quarterback last season, before being sent to the bench for top pick Tua Tagaovailoa. Fitzpatrick went 4-3 with a career-high 68.5 percent completion rate for 2,091 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

CBSBoston.com Staff