During the second round of the NFL Draft this past Friday night, the Miami Dolphins actually did something right: They took a calculated risk. They made a tremendous move in acquiring second-year quarterback Josh Rosen from the Arizona Cardinals. It could greatly affect the Dolphins' future in a positive way — and even if it doesn't, it will have a net loss of almost nothing.
The Dolphins moved back in the second round of this year's draft, picking up a 2020 second-round pick in the process. Then, as rumored in the days leading up to the draft, the team traded this year's second-round pick and a 2020 fifth-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals for quarterback Josh Rosen. For the final three years of Rosen's contract, the Dolphins are on the hook for only a measly $6 million.
Tough to beat that deal, right? For next to nothing, the team picked up someone who plays the most important (and expensive) position in sports just one year removed from being a top-ten pick in the 2018 draft. Impossible to hate on that, right, Dolphins fans?
The deal looks great for now. But if the Dolphins still insist on Ryan Fitzpatrick starting a single game, this move could end up being a disaster. The Josh Rosen Project could end up dragging on just like Ryan Tannehill's. And the Dolphins could find themselves missing out on next year's amazing crop of highly coveted signal callers, such as Alabama star Tua Tagovailoa.
The Fins have 16 games to figure out what they acquired in Josh Rosen. Is he the franchise quarterback most thought he would be for the Cardinals last season? Or will he be an inexpensive backup to the real star Miami selects next year? There is no in-between. The draft will not wait. So every game 36-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick plays is a waste of everyone's time. The Dolphins need to decide if last year's Josh Rosen — or his high-school All-American and college self — represents his potential. People rarely discuss that he entered the draft early and had some growing up to do or that the Cardinals coaching staff was in turmoil last year, a sure way to undercut a QB.
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In a perfect world, the Dolphins would cut ties with Fitzpatrick before training camp. There is no point in keeping him around. The Dolphins should start Rosen in week one. If he fails or gets hurt, they should tank to score a better draft slot and not insert a veteran quarterback likely heading into the last season of his career.
Signing Fitzpatrick was a terrible idea from the minute the Dolphins offered him a contract. It seems even worse now that they have Rosen on the roster.
The only way the team can screw up last week's great decision is to make a horrendous one when the season begins. It would be best if they cut Fitzpatrick now, let him find another team, and move on to deciding whether this is the Josh Rosen era.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the amount the Dolphins must pay Rosen.