Ryan Fitzpatrick began his NFL career as a backup quarterback before building himself into a highly paid starter.

His release from the Buffalo Bills, coupled with his decision to sign with the Tennessee Titans acts as a reset button for the former Harvard star.

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“You have to swallow your pride a little bit,” Fitzpatrick said Monday, according to The Tennessean. “I felt like Buffalo was the best place for me to start next season, and it didn’t work out.

“So when that relationship ended, I knew I was going to be looking at a backup role. I am a competitor. I want to be out there and helping the team win on Sunday, but that’s the reality of the situation right now.”

Fitzpatrick, 30, is entrenched behind Jake Locker as the No. 2 option in Tennessee. He understands his role is to help Locker improve while serving as an insurance policy.

“I had a few options. I wanted to find a nice role for me to come in and help a young guy,” Fitzpatrick said. “This was, for me, a great opportunity to come in. I don’t know Jake at all. But I want to be there for him and be ready to play if anything happens.”

This actually isn’t a bad situation for Fitzpatrick. Locker remains a raw prospect who has battled injury issues in his first two NFL seasons. There’s always the chance Locker puts it together and becomes the star the Titans envisioned him being.

If that doesn’t happen, Fitzpatrick will be ready.