For Miami Dolphins fans, there was never a moment that they believed Ryan Fitzpatrick would not be starting for the team in 2020 but that wasn’t the team’s thought.
As the 2019 calendar year turned over to 2020, the Miami Dolphins did not know whether or not Ryan Fitzpatrick would be back for a second season despite being under contract. Fitzpatrick publicly said that he would play in 2020 but there was some doubt about a return to Miami.
That all changed of course rather quickly when the Dolphins publicly said they expected him back with the Dolphins. Now, with Tua Tagovailoa drafted and Josh Rosen sitting behind Fitzpatrick, the future of the Dolphins defacto starting quarterback is down to a year and no more.
This is it for Fitzpatrick in Miami. The 2020 season. If he were to lead the team to the playoffs, it would not help his long-term future with the team. Maybe at best the Dolphins would give him a one-year deal, maybe two with no guarantees. That is of course if he took the team to the playoffs.
Anyone can look at the roster and see that Tagovailoa is the future but the question is can he learn enough from Fitzpatrick in one season? The Dolphins need him to.
Fitzpatrick has always been a bridge quarterback since he arrived prior to the 2019 season. He was the guy who would run the offense, take a bow, and move on to another team or into retirement.
Now more than ever, the tea leaves laid out in front of Fitzpatrick are telling. He is the emotional leader on offense and respected by his teammates. The coaches love him but he is way into the depth of his career and for the Dolphins, there isn’t much more that he can do that he won’t accomplish this year. His job now, whether he wants to embrace it or not, is to be a mentor. A teacher whether by example or by instruction. Tua Tagovailoa should pay attention from the moment he arrives.