Well, out with the old, in with the older. The Dolphins traded QB Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans and our 2019 6th RD (#188) pick as well as paying $5M of Ryan Tannehill’s $7M 2019 salary in exchange for the Titans 2019 7th RD pick (#234), and the biggest part of the trade, a 2020 4th RD pick. In addition to the Tannehill trade, the Dolphins signed veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to a 2 year $11M deal, but with performance incentives met (they won’t!) could boost the deal to between $17-20M.
I remember driving home from work the night of the 2012 NFL Draft. It was Thursday April 26th, I worked until 9PM and I was racing home from work that night, desperately trying to make it home to watch us make our selection at #8. It didn’t happen. I was close, less than a half mile away when my cell phone rings (hands free for you law enforcement type) and it’s Walker on the other end. Walker says in his lovable southern drawl “Mike E, we got a QB!” I can actually feel the excitement still, the hope of a young QB, it brings so much promise. Unfortunately for both us and for Ryan, things never quite happened as they were supposed to, and the Tannehill era ended 3/15/19 with the trade to the Titans.
In 2016, Ryan Tannehill had his best stretch as a Miami Dolphin. After losing 4 of the first 5 games, at 104, Miami rode the J-Train (Jay Ajayi), and that threat of a legitimate run game opened up the offense, and the ball control rejuvenated the defense. The Dolphins went on to win 7 of the next 8 games with Ryan Tannehill until the fateful knee injury ended his season against the Arizona Cardinals. You know the rest, Matt Moore finished the season 2-1, beating the Jets and Bills, but losing the final game of the season to the Patriots. In the playoffs, we were no match for the Steelers as we were drubbed 30-12 in a non competitive game. Could Ryan Tannehill have done better? We’ll never know.
The Dolphins signing an older vet QB like Fitzpatrick means a couple of things. Fitz is not a long term answer so the Dolphins are still looking for young QB talent. S Minkah Fitzpatrick will have to put an “M.” before his shared last name of Fitzpatrick on his jersey for ’19. Fitzpatrick is a capable QB, but has been a rollercoaster the last couple of years. He started last season hot throwing 8 TD’s to 1 INT in his first 2 games for the Bucs. It all leveled out as Fitz finished the season throwing 17 TD’s and 12 INT’s after the 8:1 ratio in games 1 and 2. He’s really good and really bad. That’s how he’s been. He loves to sling it, and I’d be lying if I said that won’t be a welcome change to our controlled offense of throwing in a 5 yard radius 98% of the time with Tannehill and Gase.
I think the Dolphins will take a QB in this draft, but not necessarily in RD1, unless the right guy just happens to fall to us at #13. We won’t be trading up, which makes it difficult, but we just need to improve the young talent depth at QB. If we felt either Rudock or Falk were the real deal we probably don’t bother picking up Fitzpatrick. Whether Haskins, Lock or Jones are a guy we target, we’ll see in a few weeks. I’m excited that we’re on the right track, and each move we make cements it in that the rebuild is legitimate, and things will get better, but again, for the short term they just might get worse.