Ryan Fitzpatrick began his NFL career one year before Twitter started and five years before Instagram.
Way back in 2005, when the St. Louis Rams drafted Fitzpatrick in the seventh round out of Harvard, Steph Curry was in high school and Patrick Mahomes was about to turn 10.
Now, 16 years, nine NFL teams, 223 touchdowns and 169 interceptions later, Fitzpatrick thinks he's playing the best football of his life.
"The climb that I’ve made in my career, I’m playing better right now than I’ve ever played in my career," Fitzpatrick said Thursday.
That could be great news for the Washington Football Team after agreeing to a new contract with Fitzpatrick earlier this week.
"I just feel like I’ve got a lot of great football ahead of me, which sounds crazy being 38 years old and figuring some things out about myself. I love football."
It's been an absolute wild ride for the quarterback that some fans call FitzMagic and some call FitzTragic. His career is a testament to perseverance, and maybe luck, and maybe timing, and maybe a million other things.
His last two seasons in Miami, however, have been about pretty good football.
What's different for Fitzpatrick now is that he's not an afterthought or a replacement. He's wanted, and was a target for Washington in free agency.
"It was interesting that in year 17, this was the most sought-after I have been in my whole career with all this free agency stuff," Fitzpatrick said. "I think part of it was just the way it went the last two years, the adversity that we fought through the last few years and the way that we were able to turn it around in Miami."
Few quarterbacks have hit free agency as often as Fitzpatrick, and it says something about his career he's never been a long-term answer for an organization.
But for Washington, this isn't about cool nicknames or a theatrical beard or even Fitzpatrick's ability to serve as a great teammate and mentor for young quarterbacks like Taylor Heinicke or Kyle Allen.
This move - bringing in 38-year-old Fitzpatrick - is about winning.
"Every time I go to a new place it’s just a new opportunity, a new adventure, a new journey for me. I kind of get to reinvent myself every year at a new team and I have to prove myself. I have to earn the respect of the guys. Those are the things that get me really excited about this game. For this opportunity in particular, it’s been the same thing throughout my whole career. I have to go out there, I have to earn it. I have to earn guys’ respect by the way I play, the way I prepare, by the way that I present myself every single day. I’m looking forward to doing that."
The opportunity to win respect and to win games will be presented to Fitzpatrick, and much will depend on his level of play. Washington won seven games last season with four different starting QBs. The team even improbably won the NFC East.
In 2021, Washington will need to perform better to win the division.
The same amount of misfortune and injuries can't be expected elsewhere in the division, and it's possible the new quarterback will be able to step in and provide significantly better play than Washington's had at the position in some time.
But for all the excitement that exists around Fitzpatrick's arrival in Washington, it's important to remember he's 38 and has never started a playoff game. He's been in good spots previously in his career, but either a new, young QB has been drafted, or Fitzpatrick has struggled and lost his spot.
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That doesn't mean he can't continue the continued trend of improved play late in his career, but it's hardly a given that trend will continue either.
For Fitzpatrick, he doesn't expect anything to be given. Nothing has for 17 years.
"I feel like whatever situation I’m put in, if I have the chance to compete, that’s all I want. I’m excited for the opportunity.”
The opportunity is here.
Washington won the NFC East last year with inconsistent quarterback play, and for much of his career, Fitzpatrick has been synonymous with inconsistent quarterback play.
Lately it's been different.
He's been more accurate, completing about 65 percent of his passes the last two seasons, and stopped turning it over quite so much. Instead of delivering losses and getting benched, Fitzpatrick has been giving his teams chances to win and giving coaches reasons to keep him on the field.
If that version of Fitzpatrick - not the tragic but maybe a bit of the magic - shows up in Washington, then things could get really interesting.
No matter what, with Fitzpatrick, it should be fun.
"I’m going to give my guys chances. I’m not a guy that’s going to sit there and be afraid to throw the ball down the field. I’m going to try to make the right plays. If I’ve got a chance and I’ve got my guy one-on-one, I’m going to give them a chance."
All Fitzpatrick ever wanted was a chance to be an NFL quarterback. He's had that for a while, but he's never had a chance like he does now in Washington.
One way or another, he will make the most of it.