The Miami Dolphins signed quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on Monday, the team announced.
Terms were not disclosed, but Fitzpatrick received a two-year contract, a source told ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe. A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the $11 million contract contains incentives that could boost the deal to between $17 million and $20 million.
Fitzpatrick could fill the starting quarterback role that was vacated when the Dolphins traded Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans on Friday.
Prior to Fitzpatrick’s addition, the Dolphins had just two quarterbacks on their roster: Jake Rudock and Luke Falk. Neither has started an NFL game, and they have combined for five career passing attempts.
Miami is expected to continue its search for a franchise quarterback in the NFL draft — in 2019 or 2020.
He would step in for Winston again in 2018 when the former No. 1 overall pick was benched. Fitzpatrick played in eight games with seven starts, finishing with 17 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and completing 66.7 percent of his passes — the highest completion percentage of his career.
Fitzpatrick’s greatest issue is stringing consistent games together over long stretches of time, as he struggled with interceptions when former Bucs coach Dirk Koetter moved him into a starting role.
Fitzpatrick, who has also played for the Rams, Bengals, Bills, Titans, Texans and Jets, has thrown for 29,357 yards with 190 touchdowns and 148 interceptions in 141 games. He could become the first player to throw passes for eight NFL teams, breaking a tie with six other players, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
He also becomes the second owner of the “FitzMagic” nickname on the Dolphins roster. In September 2018, defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to own the nickname in hopes of selling merchandise and apparel.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, who said he had the nickname since high school, had his trademark request denied in January.
ESPN’s Jenna Laine contributed to this report.
That injury snapped Gore’s streak of 126 consecutive games, which was the longest active streak among NFL running backs, wide receivers and tight ends.
He also had started 122 games in a row, which was the longest streak for any NFL running back since Eddie George started 130 in a row from 1996 to 2004.
Gore’s 14,748 yards rushing place him fourth on the NFL’s all-time rushing list, behind Emmitt Smith (18,355), Walter Payton (16,726) and Barry Sanders (15,269).
The Dolphins haven’t told Minkah Fitzpatrick whether he will play safety or cornerback this season.
But they have decided that they would prefer he be a full-time safety long-term, according to a team source.
Whether that happens in 2019 will depend on looming roster decisions, including what the team does with veteran incumbent safeties T.J. McDonald and Reshad Jones.
Fizpatrick told the Miami Herald in late December that he “would like to know by January or February” whether he would play safety or cornerback in 2019 after being used at both positions as a rookie.
Why? Because Fitzpatrick says his offseason training program and approach with his weight will be dictated by what position he plays.
“I lost 10 pounds playing cornerback because I moved faster, chasing guys around,” he said. “If I’m playing safety, maybe 8 to 10 pounds more [is better] so I have a little extra thud.”
Overall, Fitzpatrick allowed a catch rate of 56.5 percent and a passer rating of 69.0, which were excellent. Fizpatrick had a 74.3 passer rating against in his snaps at free safety, but most of his targets came when he was at slot cornerback or boundary cornerback.
Fitzpatrick was excellent at slot cornerback and pretty good at boundary cornerback. The Dolphins have Bobby McCain at slot corner and are expected to explore adding a cornerback to pair opposite Xavien Howard on the boundary unless they end up playing Fitzpatrick there again.
Cutting or trading McDonald would save only $1.4 million in cap space with $4.6 million in dead money, and $3.6 million of his $5 million salary is already guaranteed.
Jones is already guaranteed $11 million next season.
What’s more, if the Dolphins released Jones, that would save only $2 million against the 2019 cap and have $15.2 million in dead money in the scenario that would be friendliest to its 2019 cap. So that isn’t an appealing option.
Nevertheless, the Dolphins must decide whether to move on from one of their veteran safeties to create an opportunity for Fitzpatrick to play every down at safety.
Barring any trades, Miller projects Seattle snags former University of Washington safety Taylor Rapp.
“Earl Thomas leaves and Taylor Rapp arrives,” Miller writes. “Seahawks fans should be good with this one. Rapp is a versatile defender in the mold of Minkah Fitzpatrick or a bigger Tyrann Mathieu. He’s able to play either safety spot, is a huge hitter and can even match up in slot coverage when needed. His versatility is impressive, and much-needed in the Seattle secondary.”
With Thomas now in Baltimore and Chancellor’s playing career likely over, Seattle will need to restock at safety. Rapp could fill a hole early if the Seahawks should find him available.
“This does ignore needs for a speedy stretch receiver and another edge-rusher, but looking at the best talent on the board and the Seahawks’ needs, this is the right pick,” Miller concludes.