I don’t think there’s a position on this team with as much uncertainty. We have the veteran, last year’s rushing leader, and consummate professional in Ryan Fitzpatrick. He’s the savvy guy who was able to show impressive escapability when the blocking wasn’t up to snuff. This was something 2nd year QB (at the time) Josh Rosen couldn’t muster. Rosen was stymied by the constant pressure and although his arm strength looked as good as many NFL QB’s, his ability to understand what he saw out on the field in opposing defenses was lacking. To be fair, he was in 2 pretty poor situations, first in a woeful offense in Arizona under one and done HC Steve Wilks, and then here with the Dolphins in the midst of a team rebuild. We traded away our best OT (Laremy Tunsil) for 2 first RD picks from the Texans, but that didn’t help our QB’s in 2019. The odd thing for me was that Rosen was considered one of the most NFL ready QB’s from the 2018 Draft yet he was still having trouble identifying the “Mike” on the defensive side of the ball.
Ryan Fitzpatrick won the confidence of his teammates and DeVante Parker ended up emerging as a legitimate top level WR. Before Parker and Fitzgerald went on their torrential run from game 8 on, rookie Preston Williams was his favorite target and the rookie was having a very nice rookie season. He is clearly a leader of men, and by the end of the season Fitzgerald made it clear he wanted to return here and be the starter. The Miami Dolphins on the other hand had to look to the future, both the distant future and immediate future and drafted Tua Tagovailoa at #5. This had been discussed and predicted for so long to me it almost became a foregone conclusion. So now that leaves us with a wily veteran who has put together 2 pretty good seasons in a row with Tampa Bay and now our Dolphins. We have a young veteran QB who has endured 2 difficult seasons and it shouldn’t be discounted that many scouts questioned his desire and love for football in the first place in Josh Rosen. Then add in what I will have to consider our best QB prospect in many years, 1983 to be exact in Tua Tagovailoa.
There are a couple of wild cards that will have their play here. One of them is COVID-19 which unfortunately is running wild in Florida at the time of this writing. Nearly 10,000 new cases have devastated FLA since fully reopening. The other wild card is the actual physical health of Tua Tagovailoa. If he really is completely healed and ready to go will the Dolphins be able to keep him off the field? The COVID-19 wild card works 2 ways here. One, it may make opening camp here in FLA impossible and force a relocation if it doesn’t quiet down. It also may force the NFL to push back team activities although they are loathe to do that. They desperately want to start on time and it seems the only real concessions the NFL is going to make is lopping off a couple of preseason games. Let’s just say that they move the team to a facility that keeps them away from the general public and COVID-19 is not a factor. It will be interesting to see how things proceed. The Dolphins made it clear that they would prefer to start Fitzpatrick and he earned that right. On the other hand, if Tua truly is right physically and starts lighting things up, it will become increasingly more difficult for the Dolphins not to let their new potential star take the QB reins.
What about Josh Rosen, who has to be the most overlooked QB on the roster. Most people think he’s in danger of being cut unless the Dolphins decide to keep 3 QB’s. Last season the Dolphins carried only 2. This year, the gameday roster will increase to 48 from 46 but one of those must be an OL. It’s possible this increase could affect the decision to carry 3 QB’s, but I believe if Tua is healed that would be unnecessary. I think the one thing that Josh Rosen has in his favor is his age and inexpensive rookie contract. Ryan Fitzpatrick will turn 38 this season and Josh Rosen is 23. Keep in mind Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn’t always a starting QB, he didn’t start until he was traded to the Cincinnati Bengals after his 3rd season and then he was traded again to our rival Buffalo Bills the next season. Josh Rosen is in a similar flight pattern to Fitzgerald and maybe he finds his footing at some point. It may just come down to desire with him because he has the physical tools of an NFL QB, one with a better than average NFL arm. He has to show something this season or his career as a Miami Dolphin will likely be over.