Watching the game Sunday, the Miami Dolphins are down 28-3 against the Cleveland Browns and on their way to another loss, but then Ryan Fitzpatrick throws a touchdown pass to Mike Gesicki. The play had no bearing on the game whatsoever, but the reaction of Fitzpatrick with his fist pumps and running to the end zone enjoying the moment with Gesicki, who scored his 1st NFL touchdown, was fun for me to see. This season has been long, tough, and painful to watch at times. However, there have been somethings that have been fun to see. For me it’s watching Fitzpatrick and his play on the field. I know he isn’t a quarterback with the strongest arm, and he has been a journeyman throughout his career, but the guy plays fearless and a passion that this team needs. The players can feed off his energy. We are about to enter December the dog days of an NFL season for teams going nowhere and nothing to play for, but for Fitzpatrick he is leading by example going out and laying it on the line every play. Later in the game, he runs and goes headfirst to fight for a touchdown. It’s plays like that I love to see. Is Fitzpatrick the answer at quarterback? No, but he is someone the team should keep around next year.
Fitzpatrick can be a great mentor for whoever the Dolphins draft next year. His professionalism and game preparation is something valuable that a young quarterback can sulk in to help succeed. Fitzpatrick can come back and compete as well and the better guy wins. Fitzpatrick is the ultimate player that someone can look up to. Dan Marino had a Don Strock to help him out in his early years and he benefited greatly from it. Head coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier are looking for players that love football and Fitzpatrick is certainly one of those players. He doesn’t have an ego or doesn’t push for playing time. He always prepares and goes about his business and then when his opportunity comes, he makes the most of it. There is no reason the Dolphins can’t bring him back his cap number next year is 5 million which is cheap by NFL standards today. Plus, the Dolphins have money up the wazoo they can keep him. I’m not saying he should be the starter next year, but he can help a young football team and help them grow.
Fitzpatrick just turned 37 years old and knows his time is almost up and he is enjoying moment like he did last Sunday. If Grier and Flores want players that love football and want to be here, look no further than Fitzpatrick because he fits both of those categories. Frankly he is perfect player for a young quarterback to learn from so make the right decision and bring him back.