Ryan Fitzpatrick's football future remains murky a few days before Super Bowl LV, but he made one thing clear Tuesday.
The 38-year-old quarterback, who just finished his second season with the Miami Dolphins, still wants to play.
"There’s rumors everywhere in the quarterback market, but there’s a lot of teams that are looking for a new quarterback or a quarterback," Fitzpatrick said on The Pat McAfee Show. "For me personally, I have to take every offseason now and just reassess and I know these last two years have really re-lit that fire under me and I still want to play.
"And I enjoy being out there playing, (but) things are little bit more complicated for me now with my oldest going into high school and six little ones trailing behind him. There’s a lot of thought that has to go into this thing, but I still love playing the game.”
The likelihood, though, is that Fitzpatrick has played his last down for the Dolphins.
And that decision very well could become mutual.
Fitzpatrick has made it clear time and time again that he wants to compete and he's not going to get that chance with the Dolphins, who clearly have turned the page to Tagovailoa — unless they pull off a trade for Deshaun Watson.
And the Dolphins aren't likely to want to have Fitzpatrick as a backup after he came off the bench twice in 2020 to replace Tagovailoa because they won't want their young quarterback looking over his shoulder.
There were several teams that entered the offseason with uncertain quarterback situations, and it's entirely possible it will end up being one of those teams that sign Fitzpatrick.
But this means that Fitzpatrick won't know his next destination until mid-March, and he also realizes his options might be limited.
“For me, I can’t pick as picky as Matt Stafford," he told McAfee. "That stuff doesn’t really happen till March. What I’ve learned over the years is not to sit and worry about it or put too much time into it until that March date rolls around.”
Fitzpatrick was asked to revisit the emotional Zoom media session he conducted the day after the Dolphins announced on social media they were making the quarterback switch to Tagovailoa.
At the time, the Dolphins had won their previous two games to get to 3-3 on the season and Fitzpatrick had thrown three touchdown passes in both games, 43-17 and 24-0 decisions against the 49ers and Jets, respectively.
“A lot of it was how much you put into it and invest," Fitzpatrick said. "For me, even the season before and the adversity and all the hardships we went through, it just hurt. And one of the great things being an older player, an established player, you now get to say whatever you want and however you feel. You don’t have to do the veiled b.s. and the company lines.
"That’s something that’s refreshing is just being able to kind of speak my mind and tell it how it is and put my emotions out there and that’s how I was feeling that day. And I don’t know if that’s that they wanted me to say or not, but that’s what I wanted to say because that’s how I felt. I think it came across as genuine.”
That said, Fitzpatrick again had nothing but complementary things to say about Tagovailoa, in particular his willingness to learn and ask questions.
“Tua was the guy that was willing," Fitzpatrick said. "I think that’s the first thing. These guys have to be willing to ask questions and willing to learn and he did a good job with all that. It’s hard to come in and play quarterback in this league, especially as a rookie, and he came in and did a great job. Tons of great questions.
"I’ve learned so much in my career and still every year I’m trying to figure it out, but it was a great year of experience for him and look forward to big things in the future for him.”