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Ryan Fitzpatrick was released by the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday, 18 months after the National Football League team signed the quarterback to a six-year contract extension worth $59 million.
Fitzpatrick would have been due a $3 million bonus on Wednesday but after a 6-10 campaign last year, the Bills decided to make a change in passers.
"We kept every possible option open right down to the wire when we had to make a decision on whether to keep Ryan," Bills general manager Buddy Nix said.
"In the end, we had to do what we feel is best for our football team and it was a very difficult decision. Ryan did some great things as our starting quarterback... but difficult decisions often have to be made and so we are moving forward."
The Bills will seek a new quarterback either by free agency or next month's NFL Draft with only Tarvaris Jackson and Aaron Corp in the position as of now.
Fitzgerald went 19-34 over four seasons with the Bills, including a 5-2 start to the 2011 campaign to prompt the contract extension. But after that signing, the Bills won only eight of 28 games.
Fitzgerald threw for 11,654 yards and 80 touchdowns with 64 interceptions during his time with the Bills.