Ryan Fitzpatrick Talks Benching for Tua Tagovailoa, Says It 'Broke His Heart'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2020

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) looks to pass the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

So much for the Miami Dolphins and Ryan Fitzpatrick having a mutual understanding on Tua Tagovailoa's takeover of the starting quarterback job.

Fitzpatrick met with reporters Wednesday and laid bare his emotions after being benched, saying the decision "broke his heart."

"I was shocked by it. It definitely caught me off guard. It was a hard thing for me to hear yesterday, just digesting the news. My heart just hurt all day," Fitzpatrick said.

"I felt like it was my team," he added.

The Dolphins made the switch to Tagovailoa on Tuesday despite the fact that Fitzpatrick led the team to a 3-3 record and back-to-back wins by double digits. Fitzpatrick has thrown for 1,535 yards and 10 touchdowns against seven interceptions, producing the seventh-best (79.6) QBR in the NFL. Pro Football Focus also gives Fitzpatrick a solid 75.3 grade on the season.

From a purely win-now perspective, the move does not make all that much sense, and Fitzpatrick was clearly blindsided.

"I basically got fired yesterday, and my day today consisted of Zoom meetings with the guy who fired me and sitting in a room with the guy who replaced me for four hours," Fitzpatrick told reporters.

This situation could all be leading to a trade of Fitzpatrick ahead of the Nov. 3 deadline. There are several teams with playoff aspirations that could use a bump at the quarterback spot, including the Dallas Cowboys. It's likely that Fitzpatrick would at least be a marginal upgrade over Andy Dalton, who struggled in his debut as the starter last week after Dak Prescott's season-ending injury.  

Regardless, Fitz does not appear to be the veteran willing to happily hold a clipboard the rest of the season.