The Miami Dolphins drafted their first potential franchise quarterback since Dan Marino in the 2020 NFL Draft when head coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier took Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Miami will not want to start Tua straight away, which will allow him to progress and to learn from fellow professionals.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is due to be the starting quarterback come the first game of the 2020 NFL season at the New England Patriots.
I expect Tua to come in at some point in the season due to how historically inconsistent Fitzpatrick has been throughout his career.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a great locker room presence
Fitzpatrick will probably see the season out as the backup before a potential retirement announcement after the season ends.
There is a likely chance that Ryan Fitzpatrick could call it curtains on his career but the way the season ended for him in the 2019 season, perhaps he feels he has a lot more years left.
Fitzpatrick, whichever way the seasons goes, will be an excellent mentor to Tua.
Whilst Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t had the most glittering careers having played for eight NFL teams, he has seen a lot in his time and learned a lot of valuable lessons that he can look to pass on to Tagovailoa.
We have seen some of the best quarterbacks in history, as well as current stars, spend some or all of their first season as a backup.
Tom Brady was a back up to Drew Bledsoe, Aaron Rodgers was a back up to Brett Favre, Patrick Mahomes was a back up to Alex Smith and Lamar Jackson was a backup to Joe Flacco.
On the flip side, quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin were the first two players taken in the 2012 NFL draft and both have been badly affected by injuries. They both started for their teams straight away.
Griffin is now Lamar Jackson’s back up at the Baltimore Ravens and had an impressive rookie year before injuries took their toll.
Andrew Luck was also someone badly affected by injuries due to a bad offensive line. Luck suddenly retired in 2019 after just seven seasons.
This goes to show, along with the need to protect your franchise quarterback through the offensive line, that a player needs time to learn. NFL history is littered with rookie quarterbacks thrown to the wolves in their first season and were never the same again.
During the time Tua will spend as a backup, it will allow new offensive lineman Austin Jackson, Robert Hunt, and Solomon Kindley to learn the new system and adjust to the NFL.
Putting a quarterback straight in during their rookie season is never a worthy risk to take. Allowing Tua time to learn off Ryan Fitzpatrick will help him understand and see how quarterbacks go about their business on and off the field.
Fitzpatrick is a perfect mentor for how he conducts himself on and off the field.
He can help Tua when the rookie starts as a backup and when Tua gets the starting job I do not expect it to be a Rodgers-Favre situation where Ryan Fitzpatrick is bitter towards Tua.
Fitzpatrick will understand the situation. He has been in the league for a long time and been with plenty of teams to understand the business of it all.
In conclusion, i feel that Tua is in the perfect place and with the perfect bridge quarterback to help him develop.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is only good news for any rookie quarterback.