After the Miami Dolphins were unable to convince Tyrod Taylor or Teddy Bridgewater to sign with the them, the team turned their attention to Ryan Fitzpatrick and signed him to a two-year contract. Fitzpatrick was probably the best quarterback left in a weak free agent class. The Dolphins could have gone with Blake Bortles, Sam Bradford, Mike Glennon, or RG III, but all of those guys are either injury prone, inexperienced, or just flat out awful. Fitzptrick is 36 years old and has been around a while. There are a lot of qualities I like about him as a quarterback that will make him a good fit for a team that’s rebuilding.
Fitzpatrick is a leader and someone the young players can look up too. Last year with Tampa Bay, Fitzpatrick filled in for Jameis Winston for the first 3 games of the season and he played so well that he kept the starting job a little longer even when Winston was ready to come back. He kept not only for his play on the field, but for the way he led the team and earned their respect. The funniest moment of the season last year was after a win, he wears DeSean Jackson’s suit with the shirt button down and big sun glasses to go with his long beard.
Fitzpatrick can be hot when he is on his game. In the 3 games to start last year with the Bucs, he threw for over 400 yards in those games and he’s the only quarterback in NFL history to do that. If you had told me that I wouldn’t have believed you. Fitzpatrick isn’t afraid to take chances and gets the ball into his play makers hands like last year with Jackson and Mike Evans. When he was with the New York Jets, he would get the ball with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker and had the best year of his career in 2015 with 31 TDs and 15 INTs. He is very accurate with the football and will take his chances down the field with one on one match ups. I think Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson, and our tight ends & running backs will benefit from his style. Ryan Tannehill wasn’t an accurate passer and at times was too hesitant to take chances.
Fitzpatrick is also a tough quarterback and isn’t afraid to put his head in the ground to get a first down. Last year in the season opener against the New Orleans Saints, the Bucs had a 3rd and 14 late in the 4th quarter and Fitzpatrick ran with the ball and dove head first to get a first down to seal the win. You have to like a quarterback that is willing to do that it’s one of the reasons he’s earned his teammates respect over the years where ever he has played.
Now one big knock on Fitzpatrick is that he is a gun slinger and can be very hot and cold. He also has a tendency to throw a lot of interceptions in games and this is true, but I’m willing to take that. Frankly this team isn’t going to win a lot this year unless everything falls right into place. Fitzpatrick’s style I believe will help win the Dolphins some games, but it will also lose some games as well. He’s not the long-term answer at quarterback. He’s your classic stop gap and can also help groom the young quarterback they bring in whether it be this year or next. Living up here in Upstate New York, there are some Buffalo Bills fans who admired his play, but there are fans that have told me to put a paper bag over my head for this signing. I feel like Fitzpatrick got a raw deal in Buffalo because those weren’t good teams and whether it’s fair or not everything falls on the quarterback.
With Fitzpatrick, I know what the team is getting a quarterback who will makes big plays and big mistakes, but he’s also not afraid to have the ball in his hands with the game on the line. I know this is his 8th NFL team that he will have been on when the season starts, which will make him this eras Steve DeBerg, but his qualities and experiences can only help a team that is rebuilding.
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