The Miami Dolphins are signing a new quarterback.
Two days after trading quarterback Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans, the Dolphins have agreed to terms with ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, a person with knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.
Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins agreed to terms on a two-year deal worth $11 million with incentives that could pad that number to between $17-20 million, per ESPN. The 36-year-old has played for two other AFC East teams, the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, among his eight prior stops. Fitzpatrick has started 126 game since the then-St. Louis Rams drafted him in the seventh round of the 2005 draft.
He has completed 2,575 passes for 29,357 yards and 190 touchdowns to 147 interceptions in his career.
With the Buccaneers in 2018, Fitzpatrick played in eight games – seven starts – and completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 2,366 yards and 17 touchdowns. He threw 12 interceptions but averaged a career best 9.6 yards per attempt and 14.4 yards per completion.
Four times in 2018 did Fitzpatrick pass for more than 400 yards in a game (the Bucs won two of those four). Three times he tossed four touchdowns in the same contest. In the first – Week 1, as Jameis Winston served a three-game suspension – Fitzpatrick rushed for a fifth as well in a 48-40 upset of the New Orleans Saints.
Tampa didn’t re-sign Fitzpatrick when he became a free agent. Jameis Winston, whom Fitzpatrick split starts with in 2018, completed 64.6 percent of passes for 2,992 yards, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Tampa and Miami both hired new coaches this offseason. Ex-Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is now the Buccaneers’ coach. Miami hired Brian Flores away from the Patriots defensive staff.
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The Dolphins traded Tannehill and a 2019 sixth-round draft pick for a 2020 fourth-round and 2019 seventh-round pick. Tannehill’s Tennessee contract reportedly included $7 million guaranteed with incentives up to $12 million. He will now back up Marcus Mariota.
The Dolphins also have quarterbacks Luke Falk and Jake Rudock on their roster.
Follow Epstein on Twitter: @JoriEpstein