Josh Rosen

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

Josh Rosen ‘Clear Underdog’ In Dolphins’ QB Competition?

The Dolphins are one of only a couple of teams that will be having open quarterback competitions in training camp. They signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to a two-year, $11MM deal this offseason, but then traded a second-round pick for Josh Rosen in April. 

Many have accused the Dolphins of tanking, and they’re definitely playing for the future, so it’s been assumed the team will want to get a look at Rosen sooner or later. Not so fast. Fitzpatrick has apparently been impressing during OTAs and minicamp, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Additionally, Jackson writes that Rosen is a “clear underdog to begin the season as the starter.”

One Dolphins player told Jackson that Fitzpatrick has “impressed everyone as a leader and that he was clearly the best quarterback in the offseason program.” Rosen started 13 games for the Cardinals as a rookie last year, and struggled mightily. He completed only 55 percent of his passes, and had more interceptions (14) than touchdowns (11). That being said the circumstances were far from ideal, as we was playing for an offensive coordinator who was fired just a handful of weeks into the season, and with one of the league’s worst offensive lines.

Fitzpatrick started the first few games of the 2018 season for the Buccaneers due to Jameis Winston‘s suspension, and played so well that he initially kept the job when Winston returned. He was subsequently benched, reinserted, and benched again before the end of the year. Fitzpatrick has always been more than capable of playing lights out in flashes, but has struggled for consistency.

New Dolphins coach Brian Flores has insisted that the team isn’t going to tank, so maybe he will go with Fitzpatrick each week if he thinks it gives him the best chance to win. Miami only gave up a late second-rounder for Rosen, so it’s not as if they’re too heavily invested in the UCLA product.

That being said, with Fitzpatrick’s relatively modest contract they aren’t too invested in him either. Miami will likely be picking early in next year’s draft and they’ll need to get a look at Rosen to see whether or not they need to draft a quarterback. Fitzpatrick will likely falter at some point and relinquish his grip on the starting job, but it doesn’t sound like it’ll be right away.

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Poll: Which Team’s New QB Will Have Best Season?

While this offseason did not bring quite the same level of quarterback movement 2018’s did, a handful of teams will deploy new starters. Draft choices, trade acquisitions and free agent signings will be given the keys to offenses that struggled last season.

The Broncos, Cardinals, Dolphins, Jaguars and Redskins made moves to fortify their quarterback jobs. Which team’s investment will work out best?

Denver will use a different starting quarterback for the third straight year. Joe Flacco is set to be the Broncos’ fourth starter since Peyton Manning‘s retirement. While his QBR figure (58.7) was better than any the former Ravens starter had posted since a quality 2014 season, Flacco still ranked 20th in that metric last season. Having never made a Pro Bowl and fresh off back-to-back years featuring injury trouble, with a back problem limiting him during the 2017 offseason and a hip injury beginning the Lamar Jackson era, the 34-year-old starter will try to revive his career in Denver. Flacco, though, is the most accomplished quarterback the Broncos have employed since Manning.

The other surefire veteran starter acquired this year, Foles will have his first chance to be a team’s unquestioned first-stringer since 2015. The 30-year-old flourished in his second Philadelphia stint, submitting an all-time postseason run in 2017 and helping the Eagles back to the playoffs last season. A 2013 Pro Bowler, Foles will take over a Jaguars team that does not possess the kind of aerial weaponry recent Eagles rosters did. Jacksonville is in line to have Marqise Lee back from a torn ACL, but the team’s wideouts and tight ends will place additional emphasis on Foles living up to his contract. With the Rams in 2015, Foles threw seven touchdown passes and 10 interceptions before being benched.

Kyler Murray represents the other locked-in starter added this offseason. The electric one-year Oklahoma starter accomplished about as much as a college passer can in a single season, turning in Division I-FBS’ second-ever 4,000-1,000 season en route to Heisman Trophy honors. Working with Kliff Kingsbury, Larry Fitzgerald and a host of young wide receivers, Murray is the centerpiece of one of the most daring experiments an NFL team has attempted.

The Cardinals turned the keys over to a sub-.500 college coach and a 5-foot-10 signal-caller — the first sub-6-foot passer to be chosen in Round 1. Arizona trotted out the league’s worst scoring and total offense last season, however, and sported a skeleton-crew offensive line by year’s end. The Cards added new starters Marcus Gilbert and J.R. Sweezy up front. Due to the lack of precedent behind this move, it is hard to tell how Murray will fare. But the unique talent has opened as Las Vegas’ offensive rookie of the year favorite.

Washington and Miami have not committed to a starting quarterback yet, but it is fairly safe to project Dwayne Haskins and Josh Rosen will see extensive time. While Case Keenum and Ryan Fitzpatrick could log starts, with the latter possibly even on track to do so, the Redskins have liked what their first-round pick has done so far and the Dolphins will need to see Rosen in games to help determine if they will consider a first-round QB in 2020. On the heels of a 50-touchdown pass season, the Ohio State product sits second in offensive rookie of the year odds. Although only eight passers have won this award since 1957, seven such instances have occurred since 2004.

Both Daniel Jones and Drew Lock could factor into their respective teams’ mixes later in the season. Of the 13 first-round QBs taken over the past four years, only Patrick Mahomes and Paxton Lynch were not promoted to the starting role as rookies. (Though, Eli Manning is not your typical stopgap.) Lock was projected by most as a first-rounder, and Flacco ceded his role to the No. 32 overall pick last year. So the 12th-year veteran’s grip on Denver’s job should be considered tenuous.

Vote in PFR’s latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.

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Latest On Dolphins, Josh Rosen

Sent to the Dolphins for second- and fifth-round picks, Josh Rosen apparently did not go on the trade block until minutes before the Cardinals selected Kyler Murray.

Steve Keim texted Rosen’s agent, Ryan Williams, just before the Murray pick to give him permission to join the Cardinals in finding a Rosen trade partner, Robert Klemko of SI.com reports. When Keim asked Williams if the Patriots were interested in making Rosen Tom Brady‘s heir apparent, Williams wondered why this wasn’t worked out weeks ago — when the Murray-to-Arizona rumors started.

The Redskins laughed at the Cardinals’ request for a first-round pick, per Klemko, who adds Keim did have a contingency plan that involved keeping both Murray and Rosen on the roster.

The Dolphins did not enter into the Rosen equation until the draft was 20 minutes old, with the Giants’ and Redskins’ first-round quarterback picks eliminating the other primary Rosen suitors. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wonders if the NFL was responsible for the Cardinals’ 11th-hour approach to dealing their previous starter, with a pre-draft Rosen trade removing the drama surrounding the first overall pick.

When Keim and Chris Grier spoke at the Combine, Rosen’s name did not come up, per Albert Breer of SI.com. Grier called Keim about Rosen 20 minutes into the draft, but Breer adds the GMs did not reconnect on the quarterback until Friday afternoon.

We’d fielded some calls from some people asking if we were willing to move down in the second round,” Grier said, via Breer. “Our goal before the draft was, if we’re able to pick up a first or a second in 2020, that was something we’d consider. But we were more than willing to take a player at (pick No.) 48. There was a player we really liked. And we had a couple calls.

We were ready to pick at 62 (after a trade with the Saints). And I’m telling you, Steve was pushing hard for what he wanted, and so were we. So we were to a point there where I wasn’t sure if it was going to get done or not.”

Miami’s previous front office studied Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen more closely than Rosen as prospects last year, Breer notes, due to the thinking, at the time, those two had a better chance of dropping to the team’s No. 11 overall draft slot in 2018. Because the Dolphins were able to land Rosen at an extreme discount, compared to his No. 10 overall price last year, Grier said the pick will not stop them from looking at first-round-caliber quarterbacks next year.

Every team in the league is looking for that guy that’s going to lead them to championships,” Grier said. “And so for us, we’re in a position where we’re trying to find that guy, like a lot of teams in the league. So yeah, it was an easy decision. And it doesn’t stop us from doing anything in the future. Who knows? If things go well and we feel he’s the guy, who knows? But it doesn’t stop us from doing anything.”

The Dolphins were the first team reported to be playing a 2020 long game at quarterback, having been connected to what is expected to be a Tua Tagovailoa– and Justin Herbert-fronted 2020 class for months. They will enter this season with Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick headlining their quarterback room, likely set to observe the former’s development while studying top college prospects. The Cardinals will go into OTAs with Murray and Brett Hundley as the main cogs in their quarterback room.

I absolutely would have competed if (the Cardinals) kept me, but I would’ve been kind of bummed about it because I knew I wouldn’t get a fair shake,” Rosen said, via Klemko. “A GM’s not going to draft a quarterback and draft another one the next year, higher, and then play the first one. It’s admitting you made two mistakes. It just wouldn’t happen.”

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AFC East Notes: Rosen, Patriots, Darron Lee, Bills

The Dolphins weren’t the only team interested in trading for Josh Rosen, the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson writes. Jackson sites an NFL official who was in contact with the Cardinals after the trade was announced, and mention the Patriots as another team that was attempting to acquire the 2018 first-rounder.

Rosen, of course, ended up in Miami, and New England took its own quarterback when it tabbed Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham in the fourth round. In the weeks leading up to the draft, New England was mentioned, along with several other teams, as a potential landing spot for the quarterback.

With other teams being interested, it helps explain why the Dolphins were willing to part with a 2019 second-rounder, and a fifth-round pick in 2020.

Here’s more from around the AFC East:

  • Teddy Bruschi thinks the Patriots might have been led to draft N’Keal Harry in the first round because of the physical presence Josh Gordon brought to the team last year, ESPN’s Mike Reiss writes. “They get him last year, put a 6-3, 225-pound target out there and see what a great piece it was for them, how great it was for Tom Brady,” Bruschi theorized. “Maybe that changed the perception of what they might need.” Of course, the Patriots haven’t picked a receiver in the first round in the Bill Belichick era, so the theory could be accurate.
  • Sticking in New England, the video that led to the arrest of team owner Robert Kraft will eventually be released to the public, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio writes. The judge ruled the tape can be released in a way that won’t taint the jury pool.
  • The Jets have been shopping linebacker Darron Lee throughout the offseason, and that isn’t expected to stop now that the 2019 draft has concluded, Pro Football Talk’s Darin Gantt writes. Lee became expendable once the team brought in C.J. Mosley.
  • Also in New York, team general manager Mike Maccagnan has reportedly been on the hot seat. If the team does make a change, one exec to keep an eye on is Joe Douglas with the Eagles, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora tweets. La Canfora mentions the Eagles exec has ties to Jets first-year head coach Adam Gase.
  • The Bills made a splash in the undrafted free agent pool, signing local product Tyree Jackson. Buffalo reportedly couldn’t believe the Buffalo quarterback wasn’t drafted, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio writes“He was on our draft board to be drafted. I’m surprised. You saw his name still sitting there late in the seventh, and you start going, ‘Man, if this kid doesn’t get drafted, we’re going to have to go after him.’ And we did,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said. Jackson is expected to compete for the team’s backup spot to Josh Allen.
  • The Dolphins already boast 12 picks in the 2020 draft. General manager Chris Grier says that is to be the rule going forward, the Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley tweets. Beasley predicts the team is expected to use its cap space next offseason to buy even more draft picks rather than signing top free agents.

 

Cardinals To Trade Josh Rosen To Dolphins

Josh Rosen is headed out of Arizona after one season. The Dolphins will be the team that pulls the trigger on the former top-10 pick, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

It turns out, the Dolphins’ recent trade-down maneuver proved key. The Dolphins will trade their recently acquired No. 62 overall pick to the Cardinals, Schefter added. The teams had discussed the former UCLA quarterback most of the day, with the Cardinals having initially asked for the Dolphins’ first-round pick. Miami then balked at its No. 48 overall choice, but now the teams have agreed. And Rosen and Kyler Murray will not be teammates.

With the pick, the Cardinals selected wideout Andy Isabella out of UMass. The Cardinals will also receive a 2020 fifth-round pick, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

While Rosen’s stock has taken a massive hit after a rough rookie season — when he rated across the board as Football Outsiders’ worst full-time quarterback, albeit in a bad situation — the Dolphins landing a 2018 No. 10 overall pick for the 2019 62nd selection could be immense value. As far as traditional stats go, the 6-foot-4 passer finished with 2,278 yards in 13 games, throwing 11 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions as a 21-year-old rookie.

Kliff Kingsbury said multiple times this offseason Rosen was his quarterback, and the 2018 Cards’ starter reported for the team’s offseason workouts. But the long-rumored Murray pick happened, making the Cardinals the first team since the 1982-83 Baltimore Colts to select first-round quarterbacks in back-to-back years. A day later, Rosen is bound for south Florida.

Rosen, though, is going to a roster that may be worse off than his most recent one. The Dolphins have made no secret of the fact they are rebuilding, and many veterans that were part of the 2018 Miami outfit are no longer there. Contract-wise, this also represents value. Rosen is owed less than $7MM through 2021.

The Dolphins signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, and it is possible the veteran remains their Week 1 starter. Rosen could be allowed to further develop behind Fitzpatrick, but it is fairly safe to assume the formerly coveted prospect will see extensive time this season.

The Redskins and Giants represented the other main players for Rosen, but both NFC East teams took quarterbacks on Thursday night. Miami did not, drafting defensive lineman Christian Wilkins instead. The Broncos traded up in front of the Dolphins on Thursday, grabbing Drew Lock. That may have been the final impetus for the Fins to offer a second-round pick for their possible long-term quarterback solution.

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