Fitzpatrick is Starting… Again

The Miami Dolphins have named their starting quarterback for the 2019 opener – the new face of the franchise – and it’s… Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The 36-year-old, drafted 250th overall in 2005 by St. Louis (in a distant past when St. Louis had an NFL franchise) has started games with seven different teams. He has been on the winning end with six different teams – Cincinnati, Buffalo, Tennessee, Houston, the Jets and Tampa Bay. He was 0-3 with the team that drafted him.

Generally, quarterbacks who lose more than they win aren’t in the league very long. But a few of them bounce around a lot, earning backup role and sometimes capturing a bit of Fitzmagic. Fitzpatrick’s career record as a starter is 50-75-1. He’s also known for having scored 48 on the 50-question Wonderlic test given at the NFL Scouting Combine. The test rewards speed and ability to assess problems and make calculations. That might make him an ideal candidate for gaining competency with a complex game plan on short notice. Once you’re on a roster, you never know.

But his record as a starter is unusual. From 1974-2018, ten different quarterbacks were -25 or worse and 29 were +25 or better.

Another member of that group is Josh McCown, who has also started (and won) with six different teams and is now suiting up with his ninth different franchise. He was coaxed out of retirement at age 40 when the Eagles lost their backups to injury. McCown probably won’t be starting with Carson Wentz still the franchise quarterback and Cody Kessler likely able to play soon. McCown’s career record is 23-53.

As far as I can tell, no quarterback has ever won games with seven different teams. That probably changes soon.

Author: Jim Gindin

Founder and Lead Developer, Solecismic Software