Compared to last season, the Miami Dolphins did a complete 180 on their management of the quarterback position. Ryan Tannehill has been moved. Brock Osweiller and Luke Falk are gone. No more begging Jay Cutler to come out of retirement. Now, I’m not going to say that what we have at quarterback has me ecstatic but most certainly more optimistic than where my head was at a year ago.
The Dolphins traded Ryan Tannehill instead of putting all their chips in on him again. They signed journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. They made a trade for Josh Rosen who is only going to be entering his second year in the NFL. It was also nice to see Matt Moore again working with the Dolphins at the NFL Combine. For those that don’t know, Moore was the Dolphins backup quarterback from 2010 to 2017. Quite frankly, and I’m not ashamed to say this, but I enjoyed watching him play more than I did Chad Henne or Ryan Tannehill over the years.
Getting back to the two major moves, Ryan Fitzpatrick was signed by the Dolphins on March 18, 2019 for two years at $11 million. This signing came after two failed attempts to try to acquire Tyrod Taylor and Teddy Bridgewater. Again, not in awe, by any stretch of the imagination. Fitzpatrick is what he is. A journeyman quarterback who has played all over the AFC East so Dolphin fans and this coaching staff alike should be very familiar with him. A poor man’s Alex Smith which says something about the 2005 draft class because Smith was taken number one overall and Fitzpatrick was drafted in the seventh round by the-then St. Louis Rams. Some other notable players selected ahead of Fitzpatrick. Aaron Rodgers, Kyle Orton, Matt Cassel. Mind you, there were fourteen in total and Fitzpatrick was twelfth. So, I’m not expecting, Fitzpatrick to just come in and blow all of us Dolphin fans away. He is cheap for a reason.
Now, the Dolphins made a move for Josh Rosen via trade on April 26,2019. They traded their 62nd overall pick in order to land him. This move came somewhat as a surprise to me. Granted, there were rumors of the possibility of the Dolphins acquiring Rosen this offseason, but the Dolphins quickly shut them down. Obviously, that was all subterfuge.
I scoured as many YouTube highlight reels I could find on both quarterbacks. Honestly, they didn’t seem all that different to me. Now, that could in part, be due to the fact of the playbook that the coaches of those franchises wanted to run. But I was surprised to see Rosen take off running with the ball because in college one of his traits was sitting back in the pocket and waiting for the plays to develop so he can get the ball downfield to the open man.
Is the quarterback position perfect? No, and I’m still trying to decide between the two on who I want to root for to start under center but I’m leaning towards Rosen lately. When it is all said and done, I probably won’t care in the end. They are both with the Miami Dolphins and there are a lot of holes in this roster that I doubt either quarterback can overcome them all. But let me tell you why I am leaning towards Rosen as of late.
Initially, it was Fitzpatrick because I figured it do Rosen some good to ride the bench and observe what Fitzpatrick does since, he has more experience and also to protect Rosen from getting too banged up too fast, early on in his career. But then I realized something important. Something I had overlooked. The 2019 season for the Miami Dolphins is not about tanking but rather about evaluation. This new coaching staff needs to see what they have on this roster. Everybody already knows what they have with Ryan Fitzpatrick. So, it doesn’t make sense to start him. As stated earlier, Rosen is only going to be a sophomore in the NFL. There’s still tons of room for improvement. I’m not going to get into a debate regarding the Dolphins selecting a QB high in the 2020 draft even if Rosen flunks out in his first season with the Dolphins. That’s too far down the road. But, even if Rosen does fail, I would still have a hard time giving up on him after one season regardless of what our record shows at the conclusion of the 2019 regular season. And if we are going to follow the same rules I laid down for Ryan Tannehill and such, Rosen is on a cheap contract. When or if he ever gets paid the big bucks to be a franchise quarterback, then we can start putting the win-loss column on him. But for now, it’s not fair to do that to him.
There’s one little side story I want to add about Josh Rosen. In Rosen’s 2017 college season opener against Texas A&M, he helped orchestrate one of the greatest comeback wins in history. How did he do it? On a “fake spike” play to Jordan Lasley that tied the ball game up and with the extra point put the Bruins over the Aggies 45-44 late in the fourth quarter. The Bruins were down as many as 44-10 in the third quarter.
The great Dan Marino would be proud. I’m not saying the Dolphins are in no way done finding their franchise quarterback but if Josh Rosen can develop more consistency to his game and have more performances like that, then he will end up being a huge steal for the Dolphins. #IHaveChosenRosen