Ryan Fitzpatrick has won the quarterback battle in Miami. Coach Brian Flores named the 15-year veteran as the starting signal caller for the team’s Week 1 regular season opener on Sept. 8.
The Dolphins host the Baltimore Ravens and opened as a four-point underdog. The line has moved to 5.5 in the Ravens’ favor at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.
Miami is also the favorite to have the worst record in the NFL. Bovada has them at 3/1, while Cincinnati is next at 5/1. The Golden Nugget has the over/under for regular season wins at 4, with the over at +120, and the under at -140.
Flores Leans Toward Experience
Still Flores is confident the 36-year-old can lead the team. He made the announcement to reporters in a press conference on Thursday.
“After a thorough evaluation of OTAs, training camp, games, practice, we felt this was the best move for the team going into the season,” Flores said. “Ryan has done a really good job from a leadership standpoint, from an execution standpoint, and we feel like it’s the best move for the team.”
Fitzpatrick has now played for eight NFL teams, including Cincinnati, Buffalo, Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee, Houston, New York Jets, and most recently Tampa Bay. At Tampa Bay he toggled with Jameis Winston as the starter. He threw for 164 completions for 2.336 yards, 17 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
In March he signed a two-year deal as the Dolphins’ starting quarterback. He pushed aside the prospect that Miami was going to be a struggling team.
“I’ve been in pretty much every situation you can imagine in my career,” Fitzpatrick said. “There are 32 of these starting gigs in the NFL, and this is one of them. The opportunity to be one of those 32 guys is an amazing privilege and honor. When they approached me about signing on, I was so excited about the chance to get on the field and play.”
Fitzpatrick’s starting gig was put into jeopardy when the organization traded for Arizona quarterback Josh Rosen. He became available when the Cardinals drafted No. 1 pick Kyler Murray.
Training camp began with Fitzpatrick and Rosen in a tight battle for the starting job. In three preseason games, Fitzpatrick threw the only touchdown, while Rosen had the only interception.
The sportsbooks had Fitzpatrick as the favorite to win the job. BetOnline had Fitzpatrick -250 to be named starter, while Rosen was at +170.
While it seemed Flores was always leaning toward the veteran, he did make notice of Rosen’s progress.
“He’s improved greatly over the course of training camp,” Flores said of Rosen. “Playing quarterback in this league takes some time. He’s in a new offense. I think he’ll get there. When? I don’t know. A lot of that is up to him. He knows that.”
Rosen Not Giving Up
The former UCLA standout was disappointed about the decision, but vowed to keep working.
“The battle and competition never stops,” Rosen said. “I’ll push him every single day for him to get better, and if he doesn’t get better, hopefully I’ll surpass him at some point. I’m rooting for him more than anyone.”
The 22-year-old also said he likes where he stands in the organization.
“On this progression, I think the future will be pretty bright [for me]. I’m excited,” Rosen said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a setback, but it’s part of the journey.