Ryan Fitzpatrick

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Tua, Fitz, Jets

Ryan Fitzpatrick is “really excited” to have Tua Tagovailoa in the Dolphins‘ locker room, as Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes. He gushed about the Alabama product in a chat with former Bills teammate Eric Woods, though he’s not quite ready to pass the torch as the team’s starting quarterback.

I also want to be out there playing,” Fitzpatrick said. “I also want to be on the field. And that’s why I’m still doing it, because I still enjoy playing the gameHopefully some of the lessons I’m able to teach him are from him watching me play. But if it’s the other way around, I’m going to do my best to help him succeed in the best way he can.”

Ultimately, the Dolphins will do what’s best for business, but Fitzpatrick may have a leg up on the rookie, thanks to his relationship with new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.

Chan and I have worked together for three years … He’s the guy who has given me the longest leash in my career in terms of being able to do things,” Fitzpatrick said. “And I trust him completely, and he has ultimate trust in me as well. This will be a little bit different in that if I’m out there playing there’s going to be a little bit longer leash because of the history we have together.”

Here’s more from the AFC East:

Ryan Fitzpatrick To Play In 2020

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick says he’ll play in 2020 (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). All signs have been pointing in this direction and it’s now confirmed, straight from the veteran himself. 

The Dolphins haven’t been shy about their desire to have Fitzpatrick back for another year, even as they plan to draft their QB of the future. FitzMagic, 37, would be the ideal mentor for whoever the Dolphins choose in April and it’s clear that he still has some tricks still up his short sleeve.

In 2019, Fitzpatrick was a bright spot for the Fins in an otherwise trying year. He racked up 3,529 passing yards with 20 touchdowns against 13 interceptions and helped cap off the year in style with wins over the Bengals and Patriots.

Fitzpatrick is under contract for 2020 at an $8MM salary for this upcoming year. Even though he could wind up as the QB2 by the midway point of the year, the Dolphins can afford it thanks to their ample cap room.

Next up for the Dolphins’ QB room – evaluating candidates for the No. 5 overall pick and, perhaps, mulling a trade up to get their man. They’ll also have to figure out how former first-round pick Josh Rosen fits into the picture.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Expect Ryan Fitzpatrick Return

The Dolphins “fully expect” to see quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick back on the field in 2020, GM Chris Grier told reporters this week. This jibes with previous comments from the GM, who earlier this month said that the plan “right now” is for FitzMagic and Josh Rosen to stay in the fold. 

The Dolphins will almost certainly select their QB of their future early in the draft, but in any circumstance, they’d love to have the veteran back. In 2019, Fitzpatrick was a bright spot for the Fins in an otherwise rocky year. The 37-year-old would be the perfect bridge for a young QB and his $8MM salary for 2020 would not be cost-prohibitive – particularly since the Dolphins have ample cap room heading into March.

Fitzpatrick has indicated that it would be difficult for him to walk away from football this year and his bond with the organization is evident. It all adds up to an obvious match, though the same can’t be said for Rosen, a former first-round pick who has yet to make a dent at the pro level.

Last year, Fitz threw for 3,529 passing yards with 20 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. He also helped the club end the year on a high note with back-to-back wins over the Bengals and Patriots.

The Dolphins will go into the draft with an absolute stockpile of draft capital, giving them the ability to move up for a signal caller that might not be available at No. 5 overall. However the QB room shakes out, we know this much – the offense will be guided by Chan Gailey, who was hired to replace Chad O’Shea on New Year’s Eve.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Fitzpatrick, Jets

The Dolphins enter the offseason with tons of cap room and a bevy of draft capital. Will GM Chris Grier‘s capitalize on those picks? History suggests that he just might. ESPN.com’s Cameron Wolfe took a trip down memory lane recently, and highlighted some of Grier’s biggest hits over the past three years.

Successful selections include offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil (2016 first-round pick), cornerback Xavien Howard (2016 second-round pick), cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick (2018 first-round pick), and linebacker Jerome Baker (2018 third-round pick). Of course, Grier wasn’t as fortunate in 2017 as he whiffed on first-round defensive end Charles Harris and third-round corner Cordrea Tankersley.

The Dolphins are currently set to pick at Nos. 5, 18, and 26 overall in the first round, but they’re also expected to move around as they kick their rebuild into high gear.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • For what it’s worth, Grier says the Dolphins‘ plan “right now” is for Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen to both be on the offseason roster, as Wolfe writes. It remains to be seen whether Fitzpatrick, 37, will return for another season, but the quarterback has confessed that retirement would be difficult for him. As it stands, Fitzpatrick is under contract for $8MM in 2020 with $4MM guaranteed. Pairing Fitzpatrick with a rookie quarterback like Tua Tagovailoa – who will be ready to throw in April – would make a lot of sense. Meanwhile, it’s hard to see Rosen fitting into the picture.
  • When asked about the power dynamic between head coach Adam Gase and general manager Joe DouglasManish Mehta of the Daily News pointed to the lengths of their respective contracts. Gase, who came along first, received a four-year deal from the club. Douglas, who joined late in the 2019 offseason after Mike Maccagnan‘s ill-time ouster, got a six-year deal with Gang Green. Gase helped push the Jets to hire Douglas, and has influence on personnel decisions, but Mehta writes that Douglas indeed has the upper hand on 53-man roster matters. In other words, as Mehta writes, a tie goes to Douglas.
  • The Bills could lose assistant GM Joe Schoen to the Browns.

Dolphins Hire Chan Gailey As OC

One day after firing Chad O’Shea, the Dolphins are bringing in a familiar face to fill their offensive coordinator vacancy. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), Miami will hire Chan Gailey as its new OC. Gailey served in that same capacity with the Dolphins from 2000-01.

It’s something of a curious move, given that the Dolphins seemed to be finding their groove under O’Shea. Although the overall offensive numbers look bleak — the team finished 27th in the NFL in total offense, last in rushing offense, and 25th in scoring offense in 2019 — they did rank in the top-10 in passing offense and top-15 in scoring offense after Ryan Fitzpatrick took over the starting QB job on a full-time basis beginning in Week 6.

However, as Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com writes, O’Shea’s system was frequently described as complex — which makes sense given the amount of time he spent in the Patriots’ organization — and with a number of young players on the roster and a rookie signal-caller likely coming in, head coach Brian Flores perhaps wanted something a little more digestible. Gailey’s spread offense could fit the bill.

Plus, it’s not as though Fitzpatrick is unfamiliar with Gailey’s system. Gailey was Fitzpatrick’s OC with the Jets from 2015-16 and his head coach with the Bills from 2010-12. And as Wolfe says, the team wants Fitzpatrick back in 2020 for the final year of his two-year deal and to bridge the gap to the young QB it will presumably select in the upcoming draft.

Gailey, 67, is a familiar name to NFL fans. He has served as the offensive coordinator for four different teams (the Steelers, Dolphins, Chiefs, and Jets) and as the head coach of two (the Cowboys and Bills). He is just 34-48 as a head coach, including an 0-2 mark in the playoffs, and he has not been successful at every stop, but he obviously has the respect of Flores and will attempt to mold Miami’s young offense.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Josh Rosen Unlikely To Play Again In 2019

With the Dolphins looking to the future, it’s fair to wonder if head coach Brian Flores will reinsert second-year QB Josh Rosen into the starting lineup for the final two games of the season instead of continuing to roll with 37-year-old journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick.

But as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes, Flores has shot down the idea that he needs to get another look at Rosen this year. “We will always do what we feel is in the best interests of this team and play the guy that gives us the best chance to win; we feel that’s Ryan,” Flores said. “It’s [been] that way for the last 8 to 10 weeks.”

Of course, Miami acquired Rosen from the Cardinals this offseason for second- and fifth-round picks, and given his status as the No. 10 overall pick of the 2018 draft, it made sense for the draft pick-rich Dolphins to take a flier on the UCLA product. But in six games (three starts) this season, Rosen has completed 53.2% of his passes and has thrown one touchdown against five interceptions. He was similarly disappointing in his rookie campaign with Arizona, and while the 2018 Cardinals and the 2019 Dolphins boasted little offensive firepower of any kind, Jackson says Miami does not view Rosen as its long-term QB.

The team could save a little money by turning back to Rosen, as Fitzpatrick will earn $2.5MM in incentives if he plays in 75% or more of Miami’s offensive snaps this season (he has currently played in 76.9% of the team’s snaps). That money is guaranteed and is in addition to his $5.5MM base salary for 2020, but that is not a pressing issue for the Dolphins, who will have a ton of cap space to work with.

When asked if there is anything more to learn about Rosen by seeing him in additional game action, Flores said, “[y]ou can always get more information, but we have what we have [and that’s] practice reps and the game reps he had and his play for [Arizona] a year ago. The most important thing is what we see in practice on a weekly basis.” Reading between the lines, it sounds like Rosen hasn’t been any more impressive in practice than he has been in games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Marrone, Dolphins, Lawson

After the Jaguars ugly 42-20 loss to the Titans, the team fell to 4-7 and reporters asked head coach Doug Marrone if the team would be making any changes at quarterback or defensive coordinator. Marrone remained steadfast that he is not considering changes at either spot, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.

Marrone, currently in his third season as Jacksonville’s official head coach (he served as the interim at the end of 2016), is still looking to replicate the success he found in his first year at the helm. That season the Jaguars had one of the best defensive units in football that carried a team with questionable quarterback play to the AFC Championship Game. Since, the team is 9-18 and recently looks in disarray defensively. On the opposite side of the field, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew showed promise while Nick Foles was out with a broken collarbone. Foles returned last week, but has yet to lead a strong offensive performance.

Here’s some more Sunday notes from the AFC:

  • Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is perfect for the Dolphins situation, according to Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald. Fitzpatrick has helped their offensive unit maintain an acceptable level of competence, but not to a level that could cause the team to win enough games to have their first round pick fall outside the top five in next year’s draft. Salguero also notes that head coach Brian Flores’ choices have made clear that Miami believes that Josh Rosen is not the franchise’s answer under center.
  • The Bills defense dominated the Broncos offense in Sunday’s 20-3 victory. It’s no secret that Buffalo has one of the best defensive units in football, but one player seemed to be playing with a little chip on his shoulder. According to Denver7’s Troy Renck, Bills edge rusher Shaq Lawson, who recorded two sacks on Sunday, looked for Broncos center Connor McGovern after the contest to tell him, “You will remember me now.” Apparently, McGovern said he did not who Lawson was prior to the game and the Clemson alum took note.

AFC Notes: Jackson, Miller, Fitzpatrick

Former Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and the Ravens released a statement denying a report by Michael Lombardi of The Athletic claiming Mornhinweg wanted to move Lamar Jackson to wide receiver. Jackson, of course, was the subject of much debate as a draft prospect with many pundits, including ESPN’s Bill Polian, calling for a position change to wide receiver.

Jackson, however, remained adamant that he was a quarterback, was selected in the first round by Baltimore and has taken the NFL by storm over the past two seasons. Mornhinweg, who was replaced by Greg Roman as the team’s offensive coordinator entering this season, made clear in his statement that “My thoughts before the draft, and even more when we started working with Lamar, was that this young man was going to be a special quarterback.” Regardless of what his opinions were at the time, Jackson has proven he is an NFL signalcaller.

Here’s more notes from around the AFC:

  • The Broncos were deflated after blowing a 20-0 lead in their 27-23 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. To try and help team moral, all-pro linebacker Von Miller organized a team dinner just a couple hours after landing back in Denver, according to Kyle Newman of the Denver Post. Per Newman’s report, the dinner was a resounding success. Players brought their family members and seemed to rebound from their loss and get ready for another week.
  • Dolphins head coach Brian Flores told reporters that Ryan Fitzpatrick will remain Miami’s starting quarterback this week against the Browns, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Flores, however, would not rule out the possibility of backup quarterback Josh Rosen retaking the job from Fitzpatrick at some point this season.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Mosley, Fitzpatrick

C.J. Mosley was one of the biggest free agent signings of the offseason. The Jets poached the inside linebacker from the Ravens for a record-setting contract. His career in New York has struggled to get underway due to injuries. Playing in just his second game of the season on Monday against the Patriots, Mosley re-aggravated his groin injury.

According to Rich Cimini of NFL.com, the organization is concerned about Mosley’s health. Head coach Adam Gase told reporters that “It might be more than the groin.” In fact, Gase’s comments suggested there is a certain level of uncertainty and that doctors are in the middle of a “deep dive” into his health.

Here is some more news from around the AFC East:

  • Jets starting quarterback Sam Darnold is limited and limping after a toe nail removal procedure, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. The report notes that the operation does not put Darnold at risk of missing any upcoming games, but the injury will limit him in practice. Darnold returned to action in Week 6 after missing over a month recovering from mononucleosis.
  • In a separate tweet, Cimini noted that there was no sign of offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele at Jets practice today. When Gase was asked the organization’s stance on Osemele, he refused to comment. Osemele has been refusing to practice with a shoulder injury that it appears the team believes he can play through. The team has since fined him and this case could very well be headed towards a grievance. Regardless, a recent update from Pro Football Talk has reported that Osemele plans to proceed with shoulder surgery this week.
  • The Dolphins hapless season has had few storylines worth following. However, after stepping in for young quarterback Josh Rosen, Ryan Fitzpatrick put up a strong performance against a very good Bills defense. Head coach Brian Flores told reporters that Fitzpatrick earned another start, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Going forward, Fitzpatrick will prepare to play the Steelers next week on Monday Night Football.

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.