Two days ago, the Miami Dolphins parted ways with their starting quarterback of the last seven years when they traded Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans. In turn, the club was left with the quarterback duo of Luke Falk and Jake Rudock — two passers that have thrown a combined eight passes over the course of their careers. Safe to say that there are better quarterback depth charts in the NFL.
This promoted the Dolphins to make a move today, one that brought a familiar face back into the AFC East: Ryan Fitzpatrick, formerly of the Buffalo Bills (2009-2012) and of the New York Jets (2015-2016). While the 36-year-old is not guaranteed the starting spot in Miami, he is the clear-cut favorite to win the role for new head coach Brian Flores’ team — further indication that the Dolphins will enter the quarterback draft market either this year or next.
In case Miami decides to go after a passer this year to groom alongside the veteran Fitzpatrick, first-round prospects such as Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins or Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray would make sense with the 13th overall selection. Of course, the club could also try to get by with its new signing for the time being and wait for next year and highly-touted quarterbacks like Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Oregon’s Justin Herbert or Georgia’s Jake Fromm.
What does this all mean for the New England Patriots? For one, that the Dolphins will go after a quarterback soon and might compete against a team possibly starting to look for Tom Brady's successor in 2019 or more likely 2020. Furthermore, it means that Miami could be in full-on tank mode this year playing behind a passer with as inconsistent a track record as Fitzpatrick — one that just joined the eighth team of his 14-year career in the pros.
Against New England, Fitzpatrick has a pretty pedestrian résumé: in eleven games, he led his teams to just two victories — with the Bills in 2011 and with the Jets four years later — while completing 238 of 388 pass attempts (61.3%), for 3,035 yards, 20 touchdowns and 19 interception. Statistically speaking, Fitzpatrick is therefore no real upgrade over Tannehill when it comes to challenging the reigning world champions.