Miami Dolphins' 2019 free-agent signings: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick brought in to start

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 17 TD passes and 12 interceptions in eight games for Tampa Bay last season. Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

A breakdown of the Miami Dolphins' 2019 free-agent signings.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, quarterback

The Dolphins agreed to terms with Fitzpatrick on a two-year contract Sunday, a source told ESPN's Cameron Wolfe. The deal will be $11 million with the potential to make up to $20 million with incentives, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Here's a closer look at the quarterback who spent the previous two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

What it means: The Dolphins finally have a starting quarterback in Fitzpatrick after trading away Ryan Tannehill, on Friday. Miami is adding a 14-year veteran with a gunslinger mentality who will ensure they at least compete in 2019, even if it ultimately doesn't end up resulting in many wins. Fitzpatrick is often hot-and-cold on the field, but his intelligence and strong locker-room presence should be an asset for the rebuilding Dolphins under new head coach Brian Flores. Miami will still look to draft a quarterback in 2019 or 2020, but Fitzpatrick will function as a capable stopgap.

What's the risk: This will be Fitzpatrick's eighth NFL team, and there's certainly a reason for that. He will give the Dolphins some fireworks, but his lack of consistency and propensity for throwing interceptions will certainly be a frustration throughout the 2019 season. Fitzpatrick is a candidate to lead the NFL in interceptions if he starts an entire season. He's also uber-competitive, so it's unclear how eager he'll be to mentor a rookie quarterback, and he might help the Dolphins win enough to keep them out of position to draft a top quarterback in 2020 if they don't land one in 2019.


DeVante Parker, wide receiver

The Dolphins have signed Parker to a two-year deal. Parker's deal, which carries no guaranteed money after the first season, will be worth up to $13 million if he hits every incentive, but his base salaries will be lower than that. Here's a closer look at the receiver who spent the previous four seasons with the Dolphins:

What it means: Miami can't quit Parker, 26, and his tantalizing potential just yet. We saw what still excites general manager Chris Grier about Parker in the team's Oct. 25 game at Houston where the young receiver had a season-high 134 receiving yards on six catches. He had only 175 receiving yards combined in his other 10 games. The Dolphins still see enough in Parker to bring him back -- at a lower salary -- and see if he could be prove himself as a worthy piece in the team's rebuild under a new regime.

What's the risk: Parker hasn't played 16 games in his four-year NFL career so far. Parker's nagging injuries have also cost him valuable practice time. It was a rocky 2018 season for the Parker-Dolphins relationship, and although there is a new staff, some trust will need to be rebuilt. Like Tannehill, Miami runs the risk of waiting too long for a player to become something he might not ever be.


Eric Rowe, cornerback

The Dolphins have agreed to a one-year deal with Rowe, a source told ESPN's Cameron Wolfe. Rowe's deal will cost up to $4.5 million including play-time incentives, but just $500,000 is guaranteed in the form of a signing bonus. His base salary will be $1.375 million. Here's a closer look at the cornerback who spent the previous three seasons with the New England Patriots:

What it means: The Patriots just keep coming to Miami as Flores tries to build a culture with the Dolphins. Miami has been searching for an outside cornerback to start opposite Xavien Howard for two years now, and Rowe provides an experienced option who could end up being the front-runner for this role. Rowe's contract only has $500,000 in guaranteed money, so a roster spot isn't a given, but if he stays healthy, he could allow Minkah Fitzpatrick (safety) and Bobby McCain (slot cornerback) to move back to their natural roles.

What's the risk: Rowe has played just 12 games over the past two seasons, and 21 over the past three seasons primarily because of injuries. Can Miami count on Rowe to stay on the field? Also, Rowe wasn't the most consistent cornerback in New England and can be exposed by faster receivers. This signing shouldn't stop Miami from adding more talent at the position.


Dwayne Allen, tight end

The Dolphins have signed Allen to a two-year, $7 million deal. He receives $1.25 million in guaranteed money and the second year of his deal is a team option. Here's a closer look at the tight end who spent the previous two seasons with the New England Patriots:

What it means: Flores, who was an assistant with the Patriots, has a trusted, familiar face to help implement his culture in Miami. Allen is known as one of the NFL's best blocking tight ends and a great person for the locker room. He will add much-needed competition and experience for a young tight end room that underachieved last season. Allen is expected to complement 2018 second-round pick Mike Gesicki, who is primarily a receiving tight end.

What's the risk: Allen had three catches for 27 yards in 13 games last season, so $3.5 million per year is a large number for a tight end who doesn't make much impact as a receiver. The Dolphins also spent a second-round pick (Gesicki) and fourth-round pick (Durham Smythe) on tight ends last season, so the risk is Allen becomes a progress-stopper.