The Miami Dolphins shocked the football world on Tuesday. They benched impressive starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for rookie No. 5 overall pick Tua Tagovailoa.
Fitzpatrick had led Miami to three wins in its past four games. That included blowout victories over the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets prior to this week’s news.
In talking about head coach Brian Flores’ decision to bench him, Fitzpatrick did not hold back.
Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick “shocked” by benching
“I was shocked by it,” Fitzpatrick told reporters Wednesday in a Zoom meeting. “It definitely caught me off guard. It was a hard thing for me to hear yesterday, just kind of digesting the news. My heart just hurt all day. It was heartbreaking for me. Flo kind of said what he said and said what he said to you guys as well, and that’s the decision and the direction that the organization is going in.”
Fitzpatrick did not expand much further on his conversation with Flores. However, did add that Tuesday’s decision by the Dolphins’ head coach did make him think about his future.
“There was a lot of stuff going through my mind yesterday just from a personal standpoint, not necessarily with the team,” Fitzpatrick said. “Is this it? Like, was that my last game as an NFL player in terms of being the starter and going out there and playing? And you just kind of go through all those different scenarios. I’ve been a starter, I’ve been benched all kinds of different ways, but this one just really more so than any of them. this organization and what we’ve been through the last year and a half, this was kind of the first place other than Buffalo where I just felt fully committed and invested and felt like it was my team.”
The veteran quarterback knew the minute Miami selected Tagovailoa back in April that he would be nothing more than a placeholder. With that said, Fitzpatrick has been through the ringer with the Dolphins. He led them to a surprising five-win 2019 campaign after preseason predictions concluded that it would be hard for Miami to win a single game.
Throughout his tenure in Miami, Fitzpatrick has seen the team’s front office trade its franchise left tackle and Pro Bowl defensive back. We can include other core players on that list, too. The idea was to plan for the future under young Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. This created an unattainable situation with Miami.
Potential Ryan Fitzpatrick trade?
As Fitzpatrick’s tone on Wednesday indicates, he’s not a happy camper.
“I basically got fired yesterday and then my day of work today consisted of me, in Zoom meetings, listening to the guy that fired me and then locked in a spaced-out room with my replacement for four hours today,” Fitzpatrick said. “So there aren’t a whole lot of jobs that are like that.”
Will Fitzpatrick look to get out of dodge? Could the Dolphins trade him?
That now becomes the million-dollar question in South Beach. With less than two weeks remaining until the Nov. 3 NFL trade deadline, there’s a chance the 37-year-old Fitzpatrick could be dealt.
In reality, he’d be seen as an upgrade for multiple teams around the NFL. This season alone, Fitzpatrick is completing 70.1% of his passes for 1,535 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions for a 95.0 passer rating.
Potential Ryan Fitzpatrick trade scenarios
Counting a mere $8 million against the cap in 2020, Fitzpatrick would be a high-upside, low-risk trade acquisition for multiple teams.
- Dallas Cowboys: Andy Dalton’s brutal performance in his first start in the injured Dak Prescott’s stead last week was an unmitigated disaster. Dalton threw two interceptions in the 38-10 loss. Needless to say, Fitzpatrick would act as an upgrade for the team.
- Denver Broncos: General manager John Elway was holding out hope that the return of injured quarterback Drew Lock would change things in Week 6. In no way did this come to fruition. Despite defeating New England, Lock threw two interceptions. All said, Broncos quarterbacks have combined for six touchdowns and eight interceptions this season. Fitzpatrick would be an obvious upgrade.
- Minnesota Vikings: Can head coach Mike Zimmer justify benching high-priced quarterback Kirk Cousins? I am not too sure. What we do know is that Cousins is one of the primary reasons Minnesota sits at 1-5 on the season. He’s thrown for 11 scores compared to 10 picks. Ouch!
- Regardless, it’s now apparent that there’s some drama in South Beach right now. Fitzpatrick might be a professional, but he also has feelings. He’s upset. Is that the situation the Dolphins want Tagovailoa to be in as he starts his tenure as the face of the franchise?