Dolphins benched Ryan fitzpatrick in the middle of a season that ended with the contract of the veteran COVID-19 quarterback. But the well-traveled passer has always played a key role in the success of the Dolphins and would like to return for a 17th season in 2021.
GM Dolphins Chris Grier did not commit to Fitzpatrick’s status with the franchise, which has since been linked to Deshaun Watson after proclaiming Tua Tagovailoa his 2021 starter. But it looks like Fitz will be ready to join a ninth team – or perhaps return to one of the previous franchises that employed him – next season.
“This offseason, we have already seen it with [Jared] Goff and [Matthew] Stafford obviouslySaid Fitzpatrick during an appearance on The Pat McAfee To show (via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel). “Who knows what’s going to happen with Deshaun? There are rumors all over the quarterback market, but there are a lot of teams looking for a new quarterback or new quarterbacks..
“For me, personally, I have to take each offseason and re-evaluate. The past two years have really rekindled this fire under me. I still want to play and I like to play outside. “
Fitzpatrick played an unusual role in his season at 38. The Dolphins benched him for Tagovailoa but brought him twice in games as a late relief option. The second such example produced a last-second victory over the Raiders. Fitz’s late 1930s presented periods of production that would make him, at worst, a viable replacement contender for next season. He led a much worse 2019 Dolphins team to five wins and averaging 9.6 yards per attempt as a part-time starter for the 2018 Buccaneers.
The Harvard alumnus has played for the Rams, Bengals, Bills, Titans, Texans, Jets, Bucs and Dolphins since being drafted in the seventh round of 2005. The Dolphins signed Fitz for a two-year, $ 11 million contract in 2019, and he opened the last two seasons as the team’s starter on the last 10 picks (Tagovailoa and Josh rosen). The Dolphins can extend Fitzpatrick until the start of the league’s new year and obviously can re-sign him after that March date. If it hits the market, it will be interesting to see what kind of outside interest develops.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.