Ryan Fitzpatrick Lets Tua Tagovailoa Know He’s in for a QB Competition
Ryan Fitzpatrick, the king of journeyman quarterbacks, isn’t about to let go of his starting job with the Miami Dolphins. Even though the Dolphins selected Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, Fitzpatrick made it clear he isn’t just going to hand the job over to the rookie.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a 15-year NFL veteran
To say Ryan Fitzpatrick has been around the NFL would be a serious understatement. Fitzpatrick broke into the league in 2005 after he was drafted in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams. Fitzpatrick has played for eight different NFL teams since playing his college football at Harvard.
Fitzpatrick played just two seasons in St. Louis, starting three of the five games in which he played. He moved on to the Cincinnati Bengals for two more seasons, where he started 12 games during the 2008 season. In 2009, he hooked on with the Buffalo Bills, where he had his longest stint with any one team – four seasons. He was a full-time starter for most of those seasons but compiled a record of 20-33.
After playing the 2013 season with the Tennessee Titans and the 2014 season with the Houston Texans, Fitzpatrick caught on with the New York Jets for two seasons, going 13-14. After playing the 2018 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he played last season with the Miami Dolphins. He had a big game against the New England Patriots in the final regular-season game. In that game, Fitzpatrick took his Dolphins into New England and shocked the Pats, denying them a first-round postseason bye. Fitzpatrick has never had a winning record with any of the eight teams he’s played with.
Tua Tagovailoa is a hyped-up rookie
Although Ryan Fitzpatrick has held down the fort nicely, the Miami Dolphins have been looking to stabilize their quarterback position. They traded for a young Josh Rosen, who became expendable when the Arizona Cardinals selected Kyler Murray with the first pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Rosen got an opportunity to start last season but was eventually beaten out by Fitzpatrick.
The Dolphins selected Alabama’s left-handed quarterback Tua Tagovaila with the fifth pick in the 2020 NFL draft and he’s expected to be the quarterback of the future. Tagovailoa had a heralded career with the Crimson Tide, but a serious hip injury forced him to the sideline during the 2019 season and ended his college career.
Tagovailoa, despite playing in just nine games in 2019, threw for 33 touchdowns with just three interceptions. The junior also threw for 2,840 yards. Tagovailoa was coming off a huge sophomore season when he completed 69 percent of his passes and tossed 43 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He threw for 3,966 yards and established himself as one of college football’s finest quarterbacks.
Fitzpatrick said he’s looking to remain the Dolphins’ starter
In a zoom call with NFL reporters, Ryan Fitzpatrick said he’s happy to have Tua Tagovailoa on the team. He’s excited to work with him. He said he loved watching him play at college. With that said, Fitzpatrick said he’s a competitor and he’ll be gunning to be the starter when the season begins.
“I’m as competitive as they come, so I want to go out and start,” Fitzpatrick said. “I know there’s a lot of forces that go into it from all kinds of different sides so whether that happens or not who knows. But I know in order for our team to be successful, whoever is playing, that quarterback room has to be successful. Whether that’s me out there, doing everything I can to put the team in position to win or whether that’s Tua out there doing it.
“I’m going to do the best I can to help him to make sure our position is doing the things to make our team win. That’s my mentality. That’s how I think about it. You know me very well from last year, and you know I want to be out there competing on Sundays.”
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.