FitzMagic is a go in Miami.
"I'm excited to get out there and lead this team and do the best I can out there," Fitzpatrick said (h/t ESPN). "It's a situation I've been in for multiple franchises, and I'll lean on my experience a little bit and try to get the guys out there, everybody on the same page, great communication, and playing with a lot of excitement."
The 36-year-old journeyman came to Miami on a two-year, $11 million contract as a free agent in March. The Dolphins are Fitzpatrick's eighth team as he enters his 15th season. He had been competing for the starting job with Josh Rosen, who arrived to the Dolphins in April when Arizona opted to trade the 2018 10th overall pick.
Most recently, Fitzpatrick spent two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While there, Fitzpatrick appeared in 14 games (started 10) and posted a 4-6 overall record. Last season, the Bucs leaned on him to start while regular starter Jameis Winston began the season serving a four-game suspension; in that span, the Harvard product went 2-2 with 11 touchdowns and four picks.
Throughout his career, Fitzpatrick's knock has been interceptions. In 2011, he led the league with 23. However, he has proved to be high-risk and high-reward at times—just as likely to throw for 300-plus yards and multiple touchdowns as he is multiple interceptions.
Last season, Fitzpatrick contributed 12 of Tampa Bay's league-worst 26 interceptions.
That said, Fitzpatrick immediately impressed upon his arrival in Miami.
"One Dolphins player said Fitzpatrick has impressed everyone as a leader and that he was clearly the best quarterback in the offseason program," the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson wrote on July 5. One Dolphin that jelled quickly with his new QB was wide receiver DeVante Parker.
"He helped me a lot with communications and signals and everything," Parker said, according to ESPN's Cameron Wolfe. "[Fitzpatrick's] telling me what I'm doing and what I need to be doing to be in the right spot."
Once training camp began in late July, first-year head coach Brian Flores told reporters it was "pretty clear" that Fitzpatrick had an edge over Rosen.
"He's done that in a lot of areas," Flores continued, according to ESPN's Cameron Wolfe, "from leadership to production on the field to the meeting rooms to the walk-throughs. This is an ongoing competition, but right now he's leading the way."'
The Dolphins as a whole need to see Fitzpatrick and Parker's relationship continue to blossom throughout the season. In Fitzpatrick, Flores knows what he's getting and will hope for him to improve an offense that ranked 31st in yards per game, ahead of only the Cardinals, in 2018.
Miami will host the Baltimore Ravens to begin the regular season on Sept. 8.