Ryan Fitzpatrick needs to be Fitzmagic this season for his own good.
The Miami Dolphins quarterback situation became a little bit clearer this weekend, after making headlines Friday night with the release of former first-round pick Josh Rosen.
Following a disappointing rookie season with the Arizona Cardinals, Rosen was shipped to Miami in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and a 2020 fifth-round pick. His time with the Dolphins wasn’t much better, as he recorded one touchdown and five interceptions in six games.
This type of investment and Rosen’s affordable rookie contract seemed to suggest that Miami might have given him more time to develop. Especially with rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s recovery still being a question even to Tua himself to some degree.
“I won’t know the feeling until I actually do get tackled, so it’s almost like that trial-and-error kind of thing,” Tagovailoa said. “You’ve got to go out and do it in order to know if it does hurt or it doesn’t. That’s pretty much what I can say.
Miami has not named the starter for week one yet, but the betting odds are on Fitzpatrick. And although the Dolphins’ decision-makers can be unpredictable, multiple sources believe that Fitzpatrick will get the nod over Tagovailoa as QB1.
Speaking of being unpredictable, head coach Brian Flores is not afraid of making bold moves. There was a point where Fitzpatrick was benched after two games in 2019 in which the offense generated 10 total points.
Of course, the Dolphins would go back to Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter of the Week 6 matchup against Washington. But that came after Flores announced that Rosen would be the starter for the remainder of the season.
These same Dolphins moved on from 2020 fifth-round draft pick Curtis Weaver before he was given a chance to prove it in a regulation game due to injury.
With all that said, Fitzpatrick will have to be nothing short of remarkable to keep the starting job or to even win it in the first place. That’s because the release of Rosen indicates that Miami is all in on Tua.
Do You Believe in Magic?
The good news for Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins is that we all know it’s possible. In 2018 while with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Fitzmagic threw for eight touchdowns, rushed for one more and 819 yards all while only throwing one interception in the first two games of the season. Tampa won both games over the Saints and Eagles.
The magic faded after those games as Fitzpatrick went for three touchdowns to four interceptions over the next two games before being benched in favor of Jameis Winston.
In either case, there remains a lot to be excited about the Miami quarterback situation for the first time in a while. If Fitzpatrick embodies his alter ego, we might have to wait to see Tua make his debut, but the Dolphins would definitively be exceeding public expectations.
If Fitzpatrick has lost his magic once again, then it’s “Tua Time” in Miami.