Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn't intend to shed his scraggly beard or lose his large collection of T-shirts after signing a 6-year, $59 million contract on Friday that secures him as the Buffalo Bills franchise quarterback.

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t intend to shed his scraggly beard or lose his large collection of T-shirts after signing a 6-year, $59 million contract on Friday that secures him as the Buffalo Bills franchise quarterback.

Given how much he’ll be making and his new high-profile status with the 4-2 Bills, Fitzpatrick might have a hard time sticking with the “No-Name” label, though.

The one-time journeyman, 2005 seventh-round draft pick and Harvard graduate has formally arrived as a bona fide NFL starter after being rewarded with what could potentially become the most lucrative contract in team history.

“It’s been a long road,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think we’ve got this thing headed in the right direction. So to be a part of that, and to be able to continue to be a part of that for years to come, I’m really excited about it.”

Fitzpatrick’s deal includes $24 million in guaranteed money, according to a person familiar with negotiations. That’s a significant raise over the $3.22 million base salary he was making this season.

Until Fitzpatrick’s emergence, the quarterback position has been unsettled in Buffalo since Hall of Famer Jim Kelly retired following the 1996 season. The Bills, over that stretch, have gone through the likes of Rob Johnson, Drew Bledsoe, J.P. Losman, Kelly Holcomb and, most recently, Trent Edwards.

League looking into Dielman injury

SAN DIEGO — The NFL is looking into the events surrounding a concussion suffered by San Diego offensive lineman Kris Dielman because of unusual circumstances surrounding the injury.

Dielman was concussed with approximately 12 minutes remaining in the Oct. 23 game against the New York Jets, after which he struggled to maintain balance.

He finished the game despite the head injury and was not assessed until after the loss to New York. The Chargers announced the injury shortly before the team boarded a plane for San Diego.

Dielman suffered a grand mal seizure near the end of the team’s charter flight, although he was cleared of all long-term complications surrounding the concussion and seizure. He has not taken the NFL’s official concussion test and has not been cleared to play.

The Chargers came under scrutiny for how they handled Dielman’s injury, but coach Norv Turner believes the team dealt with the situation as best it could.

“Everything was handled extremely well,” Turner said. “All the proper precautions were taken. Kris was evaluated when we landed and all the tests were excellent. We’re fortunate, he’s fortunate and we’re moving on.”


• Seahawks DE Red Bryant has been fined $15,000 by the NFL for head-butting Cleveland tight end Alex Smith in last week’s game.

Other players fined Friday: Dolphins S Yeremiah Bell ($15,000, roughing the passer); Chiefs LB Tambi Hali ($15,000, hitting quarterback below knees); Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers ($10,000, unsportsmanlike conduct); Ravens S Bernard Pollard ($10,000, helmet-to-helmet hit); Raiders LB Aaron Curry ($10,000, late hit) and Raiders CB Stanford Routt ($7,500, unnecessary roughness).

• Security personnel at NFL games will begin using handheld metal detectors as part of the screening process before fans enter the stadiums. Beginning Nov. 20, the detectors will be used at stadium gates because “we are always striving for ways to improve our security procedures at all of our stadiums,” an NFL spokesman said.

• The cause of former Raiders owner Al Davis‘ death has been determined to have been heart failure.

The death certificate issued by Alameda County says Davis died from an abnormal hearth rhythm, congestive heart failure and a heart muscle disease. Davis also had a form of skin cancer and had undergone throat surgery three days before his death.