Josh Rosen

Dolphins Revert To Ryan Fitzpatrick

One week ago, Dolphins coach Brian Flores said Josh Rosen would be his starting quarterback for the rest of the season. On Sunday, he had a change of heart midway through and went with Ryan Fitzpatrick. On Wednesday, Flores announced that Fitzpatrick will lead the charge the rest of the way. 

That’s not quite in line with the “rest of the season” vow made to Rosen, but then again, the Dolphins’ season is more or less over here in October. On the plus side – the Dolphins showed serious signs of life on Sunday against the Redskins and nearly came from behind to win with Fitzpatrick under center.

After a few days of evaluating in practice, Flores says Fitz will be his guy. Or, at least, he’ll be Flores’ QB against the Bills on Sunday. What happens after that is TBD.

If it’s any consolation to Rosen – even under the best of circumstances, the Dolphins were, and are, still planning to take a quarterback in the first round of the 2020 draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Garrett, Rosen, Mariota

The Cowboys got off to a red-hot start this season, and many were talking about them as Super Bowl contenders. Then the schedule toughened up, and Dallas has now lost three straight games. We heard earlier this morning that the Cowboys could make a coaching change after this season, and things certainly didn’t get better for Jason Garrett when he lost to the Jets Sunday. Speaking after his team’s loss to New York, owner Jerry Jones didn’t exactly offer a ringing endorsement. Asked about Garrett’s future with the team, Jones said “I’m not even coming close to those future type considerations,” via Jon Machota of The Athletic (Twitter link).

“I haven’t even glanced there in my mind about long-term future. I’m looking in the future as next week against those Eagles,” he continued. That’s obviously not a sign that Jones is very confident in Garrett, and things will get even worse if the Cowboys lose a pivotal divisional game to Philly next Sunday night. Garrett is in the final year of his contract as a lame-duck coach, and after the first few games it appeared he was well on his way to earning an extension. Things change fast in the NFL though, and Jones thinks his team is championship caliber and isn’t going to settle for anything less. For what it’s worth a Cowboys source said “absolutely not” when asked if Garret’s job was in immediate jeopardy, per Ed Werder of ESPN.com (Twitter link). That being said, Garrett’s seat is definitely starting to heat up.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Dolphins benched Josh Rosen during their close loss to the Redskins today, and Ryan Fitzpatrick provided a spark off the bench. Fitzpatrick led two late touchdown drives and had Miami within a two-point conversion of their first win of the season, but he won’t be holding the job moving forward. Speaking after the game head coach Brian Flores confirmed Rosen would remain the team’s starter next week against the Bills, according to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com. Flores had said recently Rosen would be the team’s starter for the rest of the year barring injury, so this isn’t surprising. Still, Fitzpatrick undeniably played much better Sunday. Obviously winning isn’t the top priority for Miami right now so it sounds like they’ll continue to take a long look at the UCLA product, although it won’t be shocking if he gets pulled again soon.
  • Speaking of quarterbacks getting benched, the Titans yanked Marcus Mariota from their loss to the Broncos, replacing him with Ryan Tannehill. After the game head coach Mike Vrabel was tight-lipped about his plans moving forward, and didn’t say who would start next week. Tannehill also told the media he didn’t know if he’d be under center in Week 7 against the Chargers, so stay tuned as we should have an update in the next day or two. Mariota had thrown for just 63 yards on 18 attempts with two interceptions before getting pulled. He’s in the final year of his rookie deal so even if he retains the starting job moving forward, it’s highly possible we witnessed the beginning of the end of the Mariota era in Tennessee today.
  • In case you missed it, the Redskins are reportedly going to make a push to trade for Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

Latest On Josh Rosen, Dolphins

The Dolphins might be a dumpster fire, but they’re Josh Rosen‘s dumpster fire. Head coach Brian Flores announced recently that barring injury, Rosen will start the team’s final 12 games no matter what. Rosen realizes he has a limited window to make his mark, and acknowledged as such in some interesting comments the other day. “The way I am sort of approaching this year is I feel like I am really just trying out for the team,” Rosen said Wednesday, via Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. “I feel like I am auditioning and I am trying to put my best foot forward and prove to everyone upstairs and coach Flo and Mr. Grier that I am the man moving forward.”

However, Salguero writes that Rosen is mistaken. The UCLA product is “very much in the team’s plans for 2020” whether he plays well or not because of his guaranteed cheap salary for the next couple of years, Salguero writes. But “even if he improves exponentially,” the Dolphins are still going to take a quarterback in the first round next April, he reports. Salguero writes that he has been “told this over and over and over by Dolphins sources,” and that they aren’t wavering from their plan to draft a signal-caller early no matter how well Rosen plays down the stretch.

That being said, that doesn’t mean Rosen won’t have the chance to still be Miami’s quarterback of the future. Salguero thinks that Rosen will enter training camp next year in a battle with whoever the Dolphins draft, and that he’ll have a legit and fair chance to win the starting job. Whoever wins the starting job should be in much better shape than Ryan Fitzpatrick and Rosen were this year, as the team openly tanked and shipped out veteran players left and right.

Salguero writes that the Dolphins are “definitely not” tanking in 2020, and that they “expect to use a sizable portion” of the massive amount of salary cap space they’ve saved up “to field a much more veteran and competitive team.” The Dolphins, of course, sit at 0-4 and while Rosen has shown flashes at times, he hasn’t been consistent enough to warrant too much praise. Obviously he isn’t surrounded by much talent, and he’s already had a ton of passes dropped. The tenth overall pick of the 2018 draft by the Cardinals, Rosen has had a very unusual career-path thus far. It’ll be very interesting to see how the rest of his Dolphins tenure plays out.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Bell, Dolphins

Add the Patriots to the list of teams who were high on promising Redskins wideout Terry McLaurin. In addition to the Raiders, the Patriots were intrigued by the Ohio State alum, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com notes. The Pats considered McLaurin with the No. 73 pick but instead dealt the selection to the Bears in exchange for a 2020 fourth-round choice and drafted Damien Harris at No. 87. Washington nabbed McLaurin at No. 76, and he’s become the team’s top wideout. Part of the reason the Patriots sought the ex-Buckeye was his potential for special teams work, responsibilities he might not become too familiar with due to his high-value role in Washington.

Here’s the Week 6 latest out of the AFC East, moving from one might-have-been Patriot to one of the longest-tenured players in franchise history:

  • Stephen Gostkowski is under contract through the 2020 season, but with his salary rising from $1.1MM to $3.5MM, Reiss adds that the Patriots will examine that figure and determine if it’s worth it to bring the veteran back. The team also stands to look at other options in the draft. The Pats have not drafted a kicker since taking Gostkowski in the 2006 fourth round. New England made a change at punter this year, moving from longtime incumbent Ryan Allen to fifth-round rookie Jake Bailey. Gostkowski will be recovering from hip surgery but would surely generate interest elsewhere if the Patriots jettison him.
  • Le’Veon Bell‘s 2018 absence stemmed largely from fear the Steelers would continue to overwork him and thus diminish his value on the 2019 market. Bell is on pace for 299 carries, which would be his second-highest single-season total. However, now that he’s secured $28MM in guarantees, the Jets starter is not worried about workload issues, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Bell is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry on a shaky Jets offense.
  • Do not look for the 0-4 Dolphins to cut Josh Rosen‘s audition short. Brian Flores said (via the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero, on Twitter) his quarterback situation is “settled” for the rest of 2019, with Rosen set to keep the job that once belonged to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Rosen played well in the first half against the Chargers, and even though the Dolphins have been outscored 81-0 in four second halves this season, the 2018 No. 10 overall pick does not have to worry about looking over his shoulder.
  • It does not sound like one of Rosen’s former Cardinals teammates, Robert Nkemdiche, is ready to return from the Dolphins’ PUP list. But Miami DC Patrick Graham expects the defensive tackle to be back on the field by early November, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Nkemdiche’s 2018 season ended because of an ACL tear.
  • Look for running back Mark Walton and tackle Isaiah Prince to see more time for the rebuilding Dolphins soon, with Jackson noting Miami’s staff wants to integrate Walton into its Kenyan DrakeKalen Ballage rotation and was impressed by some of Prince’s Week 4 start against the Chargers. While Jesse Davis is back at practice this week after missing the Bolts game, pointing to his return at left tackle, the Dolphins figure to get Prince — a sixth-round rookie — plenty of reps this season on the right side as they continue in evaluation mode.

Josh Rosen To Start For The Dolphins

It’s been a tough week for veteran quarterbacks. The Eli Manning-era in New York came to an end earlier this week. Ben Roethlisberger may have played his last game for the yellow-and-gold after going down with an elbow injury and Drew Brees is out of the Saints’ lineup with a thumb injury. Now, another veteran quarterback is on the outs, as the Ryan Fitzpatrick era in Miami appears to be over.

Josh Rosen will make his first start for the Dolphins against the Cowboys on Sunday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (Twitter link). Rapoport hears that coach Brian Flores made the decision this afternoon.

Rosen, who Miami gave up a second-rounder for, started 13 games for the Cardinals as a rookie last season. The offensive line in Arizona wasn’t a strength because of injuries and a lack of talent and Rosen struggled, completing just 55.2% of his passes. Rosen will again be saddled with a poor offensive line and it’s arguable that the weapons around him in Miami are inferior to the ones he had out in the desert.

The former No. 10 overall pick has seen action on two occasions this season, both coming late in Miami’s pair of blowout losses. He’s completed 8-of-21 pass attempts for 102 yards so far during his time in Miami.

Dolphins To Start Ryan Fitzpatrick

The Dolphins’ quarterback controversy is over…for now. Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the club’s Week 1 starter, head coach Brian Flores announced.

After a thorough evaluation of OTAs, training camp, games, practice, we felt this was the best move for the team going into the season,” Flores said. “Ryan has done a really good job from a leadership standpoint, from an execution standpoint, and we feel like it’s the best move for the team.”

Fitzpatrick, 36, has edged out Rosen, a 22-year-old who was taken No. 10 overall just one year ago. While Rosen had his preseason moments, Flores says he’s electing for FitzMagic’s experience.

Rosen, meanwhile, is playing the part of a good soldier.

The battle and competition never stops,” Rosen said. “I’ll push him every single day for him to get better, and if he doesn’t get better, hopefully I’ll surpass him at some point. I’m rooting for him more than anyone.”

The Dolphins, with Fitzpatrick under center, will open the season on September 8 against the Ravens in Miami.

Ryan Fitzpatrick To Be Dolphins Week 1 Starter?

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores still hasn’t officially named his starting quarterback, but all signs are pointing to a Week 1 display of FitzMagic in Miami. As Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald writes, the team’s starting offense is not playing in tonight’s preseason finale, but Josh Rosen might.

Although Rosen will not start against the Saints tonight — that honor belongs to Jake Rudock — he is dressed and will go in if Rudock gets injured. It therefore seems clear that the 36-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick will get the nod to open the season. Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com (Twitter link) hears that will indeed be the case.

It’s fair to wonder if it’s wise for a rebuilding team like Miami to turn to an aging journeyman under center rather than evaluating what it has in Rosen, who was the No. 10 overall pick in last year’s draft. But while Rosen was said to be closing the gap on Fitzpatrick earlier this month, it seems the bearded veteran has managed to hold off his younger competition.

Neither player has lit the world on fire in preseason contests. Rosen has completed 28 of 45 passes for 352 yards and has thrown one interception, while Fitzpatrick has completed 17 of 32 passes for 166 yards and one touchdown.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals’ Keim On Kyler Murray, Josh Rosen

The Cardinals completely revamped their quarterback room this offseason by drafting Kyler Murray No. 1 overall. Drafting Murray meant ditching another talented young quarterback in Josh Rosen, which raised some eyebrows around the NFL. 

Here’s a look at Keim’s thoughts on that situation, and more, via The Ringer’s Robert Mays:

On drafting Murray and dealing Rosen:

You have to make the tough decisions and avoid the outside noise— ‘Why’d you give up on this guy? Why would you trade this guy?‘…It’s unprecedented. I took [Rosen] in the top 10. I just felt that [Murray] was a generational talent that I just couldn’t pass up.”

On Murray’s game tape from Oklahoma:

Every game, it was the same thing. He did something multiple times that you either said, ‘Wow’ or [I] had seen very few times in my scouting career….“For a lot of reasons, I didn’t want to like [him, but I did].”

On new head coach Kliff Kingsbury:

They thought he was a guy that had enough of a swag to him that the players respected him. [The Texas Tech team] looked to him for advice. He didn’t just concentrate on the offensive side of the ball.”

On Murray’s progress, so far:

I guess time will tell. But I certainly like the early returns.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Dolphins’ QB Competition

Less than a week ago, we learned that Ryan Fitzpatrick was decisively winning the Dolphins’ starting quarterback competition. Now, though, the race has tightened considerably, and Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald says that Josh Rosen may find himself at the top of the depth chart when the team returns to practice Monday.

Beasley notes that Rosen has shown improvement over the past week, while Fitzpatrick has stumbled a bit. On Saturday, Fitzpatrick threw two interceptions and nearly threw a third, and after the second pick, head coach Brian Flores sent in Rosen to work with the first-team offense, which has not happened often. Rosen responded by engineering a touchdown drive that included several excellent throws.

Flores, who was the one who declared Fitzpatrick the frontrunner on Tuesday, walked back his comments a bit on Saturday. He said, “I know I said [Fitzpatrick] was leading the way the other day, but let’s be clear there’s still a lot competition and a lot of time left. Today is a big day to showcase the improvement guys have made.”

When asked specifically about Rosen, Flores added, “[h]e’s made some improvement really across the board. It’s things a lot of people don’t see. Better footwork, better mechanics in the pocket, better decision-making.”

The Dolphins would probably like to see Rosen take the reins, as he was a first-round draft choice last year and has a legitimate chance of becoming the team’s QB of the future. Fitzpatrick, on the other hand, is in the twilight of his career and is almost certainly not going to be a part of the next competitive Miami team.

So as we head into the first week of preseason games, the race is suddenly too close to call.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Fitzpatrick, Jets, Bills

Ryan Fitzpatrick is well on his way to starting for a third AFC East franchise. The 15th-year veteran continues to hold off Josh Rosen for the Dolphins‘ starting quarterback job. “It’s pretty clear to me that Ryan Fitzpatrick is leading the way,” Brian Flores said Tuesday (via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter, on Twitter). Rosen was viewed as the clear underdog for the Week 1 role coming into camp. Fitzpatrick has not been a regular starter since his two-year Jets tenure concluded after the 2016 season, while Rosen started 13 games for an overmatched Cardinals team last year.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • The Jets entered camp thin at cornerback, but their top offseason investment at this spot has not impressed coaches thus far. Former Falcons slot corner Brian Poole reported to Jets camp in less-than-ideal shape, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes. Adam Gase did not single the fifth-year player out as one of the veterans on which the Jets will rely, with the new HC only mentioning Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts in that regard. Gang Green does not have much depth behind its top three. The Jets signed Poole to a one-year, $3MM deal ($2MM guaranteed).
  • Now two former NFL starting wide receivers are giving Jets wideouts guidance. In addition to full-time receivers coach Shawn Jefferson, the Jets brought in Hines Ward as a coaching intern, per Cimini. Ward, who began working with the Jets on Monday, served in this role with the Steelers two summers ago and was part of the one-and-done Alliance of American Football. It appears Ward’s primary pupil will be Robby Anderson, Cimini adds.
  • Bills third-round pick Devin Singletary is stationed behind one of the most veteran-heavy backfield duos in NFL history, with the Bills adding Frank Gore to their LeSean McCoy-led group. But Singletary is receiving plenty of opportunities in camp. The former Florida Atlantic star has worked with Buffalo’s starters “a ton” during camp, Marcel Louis-Jacques of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter). While Louis-Jacques adds that this is partially to conserve McCoy and Gore, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk adds more fuel to the speculation Singletary could induce a McCoy pay-cut request or push him off the roster. McCoy (career-low 3.2 yards per carry in 2018) being a departure candidate has been floated at multiple junctures this offseason. Singletary rushed for 66 touchdowns in three college seasons.
  • Dolphins first-round pick Christian Wilkins may have an interesting side job in his first NFL season. The 315-pound defensive tackle has worked on offense as well to start camp, Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post notes. This would presumably mean a role as a fullback, but OC Chad O’Shea did not specify.