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Odds Favor Ryan Fitzpatrick Starting at QB for Dolphins in Week 1

Ryan Bolta

by Ryan Bolta in NFL Football

Jul 30, 2019 · 12:11 PM PDT

Miami Dolphins Stadium
Empty seats and blowout losses may be a common occurrence in Miami this season. Photo by AdamFirst (Wikimedia Commons)
  • The Miami Dolphins have one of the NFL’s only intriguing QB battles entering camp
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick was signed to a two-year deal as a free agent after playing with Tampa Bay last year
  • Josh Rosen was acquired in a trade with Arizona after the Cardinals used the first-overall pick on Kyler Murray

Who ya got? Free-agent signing Ryan Fitzpatrick or trade acquisition Josh Rosen, a first-round pick just two years ago.

One of the two will start this season under center for the Miami Dolphins and sportsbooks have released a prop bet worthy of your attention.

Who Will Start Week 1 For Miami?

Who Will Be Miami Dolphins Starting QB in Week 1 of 2019? Odds
Ryan Fitzpatrick -250
Josh Rosen +170

*Odds as of 7/30/19.

New head coach Brian Flores said Fitzpatrick has the edge right now and, for that reason, you can get great value on Rosen. There’s lots of time for the second-year starter out of UCLA to make up ground and win the job, which I think he will for two key reasons.

Dolphins Have Little Commitment to Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick was signed shortly after the Dolphins moved on from Ryan Tannehill. The contract is for two years and $11 million with incentives that could push the contract as high as $20 million. Put in simpler terms, should Fitzpatrick be the backup, it actually becomes a very affordable contract.

Fitzpatrick played in 8 games last year with Tampa Bay racking up 17 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. When you factor in the 4 fumbles, you start to see he isn’t clearly deserving of a starting role.  He’s a good, not great player. You could definitely do worse, but with an option like Rosen waiting in the wings it might be smarter to give him the reps.

2018 Stat Comparison: Fitzpatrick vs. Rosen

RYan Fitzpatrick 2018 Stats  Josh Rosen
8 Games 14
66.7% Completion Percentage 55.2%
2,366 Passing Yards 2,278
17 / 12 TD / INT 11 / 14

Why Wait If Rosen Is Clearly the Future?

Rosen proved capable of being a starting NFL quarterback last year but was shipped to Miami after the Arizona Cardinals selected Kyler Murray #1 overall. This is to say, giving him a year on the sidelines isn’t really necessary.  Rosen has had live reps and shown he can play, so why would he need a season of so-called grooming behind a league-average QB like Fitzpatrick?

The counter-argument would be Rosen’s stats. Plainly, they weren’t very good.  He finished the season with 11 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, and 5 lost fumbles.

You could try to make the argument he wasn’t ready to play and, despite having experience in his rookie season, he could still use more time to develop.

I’d counter with this: what did you want from him? The situation in Arizona was so bad that head coach Steve Wilks was fired after only one season, and the supporting cast, including his offensive line, was among the worst in football.

I’m judging the pedigree both from college and in that first year, and seeing a QB ready to take the next step. If Rosen is clearly the long-term QB in Miami, why stunt his growth and have him sit for a season? It’s not like they’d be playoff contenders with Fitzpatrick in the AFC East anyways.

PICK: Josh Rosen (+170)

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