Ryan Fitzpatrick Plans to Play in 2020; Dolphins Return Reportedly Expected

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2020

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick celebrates his winning touchdown pass to Mike Gesicki in the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Longtime NFL quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick confirmed he's planning to play during the 2020 season.

Fitzpatrick, who signed a two-year, $11 million contract with the Miami Dolphins last March, is expected to remain with the team despite a potential $4 million in salary-cap savings if he's released, per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

The 37-year-old journeyman outshined Josh Rosen to hang on to the Dolphins' starting job for a majority of the 2019 campaign. He completed 62 percent of his throws for 3,529 yards with 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions across 15 appearances (13 starts).

He's never emerged as a franchise quarterback since the then-St. Louis Rams selected him out of Harvard in the seventh round of the 2005 draft. The closest he came was during a four-year stint with the Buffalo Bills starting in 2009, but he struggled to meet expectations after signing a six-year, $59 million extension in 2011.

That said, Fitzpatrick has usually provided steady play as a short-term option across stops with the Rams, Bills, Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He's often become a fan favorite in those cities for his high-risk, high-reward style of play, which has been dubbed "FitzMagic."

"Personally, I feel like I'm better than I've ever been," he told reporters in December. "In terms of what I'm doing and my focus and preparation and going out there with a group that I have, my confidence is at an all-time high."

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In all, Fitzpatrick has connected on 60.3 percent of his 4,787 career attempts for 32,886 yards with 210 touchdowns and 161 interceptions in 155 games. He's added 2,472 rushing yards and 19 scores on the ground. His 81.6 passer rating ranks 26th among active quarterbacks, per Pro Football Reference.

The Dolphins own the fifth overall pick in the 2020 draft. They will be heavily linked to quarterbacks in the coming months, with Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa being the most likely candidate after LSU's Joe Burrow likely comes off the board first overall.

Fitzpatrick's role for next season probably won't be known until training camp, and the team may even wait until just before Week 1 to make a decision if it does select a rookie early.

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