One thing I’ll say for Ryan Fitzpatrick, he never lacked for confidence.

From the minute he arrived in the NFL, as a seventh-round draft pick out of Harvard, Fitzpatrick believed he was good enough to start in the NFL. All he asked for was a chance to prove it.

That’s why Fitz chose the Bills in the first place. As a free agent in 2009, he saw Buffalo as a place where the quarterback competition was soft enough to give him that one big shot.

Fitz ultimately became the quarterback by default, because the Bills had nobody better. The fact that he held the job for 50 games says more about the prolonged dysfunction of the franchise than Fitzpatrick’s abilities as an NFL starter.

But he still thinks he can start in the NFL, which is probably why he and the Bills parted company Tuesday. The Bills offered Fitzpatrick $3 million a year to remain in Buffalo and compete for a job, likely the backup job. For a man of his pride, the offer had to come as an insult.

Still, it was difficult for Fitzpatrick to say goodbye to Buffalo, where he got his chance to be a starting NFL quarterback.

“It’s a really hard day for me, as a husband and father,” Fitzpatrick said Tuesday night from his home in Arizona, “because we loved Buffalo so much. We were very fond of the area and the people. It was a special place to me because of the fans and lifelong friends we made in four years there.

“That organization gave me my first shot,” he said. “It’s hard leaving the people in the locker room and in that building. They deserve a winner.”