Ryan Fitzpatrick

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.

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.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Adams, Dolphins

We have more social media drama. On Tuesday, safety Jamal Adams unfollowed the Jets on Instagram.

In years past, this sort of teenage drama wasn’t on our radar, but we’ve seen countless players unfollow their respective teams and ask for trades as of late.

In case you were wondering, Adams still follows the Jets on Twitter as of this writing, so there’s that. Also, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (on Twitter) hears there’s nothing to this latest unfollow scandal, even though the Jets are 0-2 and suffered a Monday night embarrassment at the hands of the Browns.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

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.

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.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Vaccaro, Callahan, Okafor

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts, with all links going to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle’s Twitter account: