The 2020 NFL off season hasn’t officially begun and there are rumors swirling about what teams will do. For the Miami Dolphins, its surrounded around what the Dolphins will do at quarterback as the team is in their long search to find its franchise quarterback. Right now, it seems barring a change Ryan Fitzpatrick will return as the team’s starting quarterback, but he isn’t the long-term answer considering he is 38 years old and in the final year of his contract. Plus, the Dolphins are going to use a first-round pick on Tua Tagovailoa or someone else, however all signs point to him being the Dolphins top pick some way somehow. The question now becomes what happens to Josh Rosen?
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Rosen was acquired in a draft day trade a year ago from the Arizona Cardinals, who made them their top pick in the 2018 draft then a coaching change forced a trade. Rosen is 23 years old and far from a finished product. He started for 2 and a half games last year until being benched the rest of the year for Fitzpatrick. Rosen obviously has things to work on and improve in his game so why not keep him and let him develop regardless of what the team does in the draft? Rosen is on his 3rd year of his rookie deal, which is cheap, and the team controls his rights for the next 3 years assuming they pick up the 5th year options which seems unlikely.
If the Dolphins drafted Tagovailoa, in all likely hood he will sit out the year to rehab his fractured hip he suffered last year. The Dolphins should keep Rosen as an insurance policy. Every year there is always a player that we don’t expect to step up, Devante Parker last year, and Rosen could be that player if the team gives him a full off season to work on his game and compete with Fitzpatrick. Head coach Brian Flores loves competition and while Fitzpatrick would go in as the starter, he would have to earn it throughout training camp and the preseason. I love Fitzpatrick, but his track record is he has one good season followed up with a down year. Plus, if Rosen improves his play, he could push Tagovailoa, when ready to play, or whoever.
One example to think about when a team had a top pick is the San Diego Chargers in 2004, they had Drew Brees at quarterback, who was still developing, and the team ended up with Phillip Rivers on draft day. Both quarterbacks competed and Brees stepped up his game knowing the Chargers took a quarterback with their top pick. People forget Rivers sat on the bench for 2 years because of this and then Brees tore his labrum and went on to the New Orleans Saints and the rest is history. Rivers went on to have a very good career and Brees not only played better but created another opportunity with another on his way to a hall of fame career.
I’m not saying this could happen with the Dolphins, but it’s something for the Dolphins to consider. Rosen knows the team is drafting a quarterback no matter what so maybe he steps up and makes it tough for coach Flores to let another young quarterback take the field. A lot is going to happen this off season, but the quarterback position is the most important position on a team period and the Dolphins have lagged on this since Dan Marino retired. They should look at all options this off season, but this situation is one they should consider.