Miami Dolphins Reveal Offseason Contract Plans for Tua Tagovailoa (Sort Of)

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — It was the Chris and Mike show at Miami Dolphins HQ, as the team’s general manager (Chris Grier) and head coach (Mike McDaniel) met with reporters for their annual season post-mortem.

There’s no bigger issue for the Dolphins to untangle over the next few months than how to handle the contract status of Tua Tagovailoa, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal.

Should Miami Dolphins Extend Tua Tagovailoa?

While McDaniel and Grier didn’t get into the weeds on Monday, they made it clear that they intend to seriously engage in extension talks with Tagovailoa’s agent, Ryan Williams of Athletes First, this offseason.

“We stayed in touch with his agent [throughout the season],” Grier said. “We never talked about money, but we had good conversations about, you know, where he is and his relationship with Mike and the team here, and everything he’s done.

“So the goal is to have him here long-term, playing at a high level,” Grier added. “That’s always the goal. So we’ll continue to communicate with him through the offseason here.

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“[We] don’t really [negotiate through] the media. So we’ll just, you know, keep all those talks internal with his reps.”

So the question isn’t if the Dolphins are willing to give Tagovailoa a multi-year extension with gobs of guaranteed money but how much exactly and how the deal will be structured.

It’s tricky because his stats would suggest he deserves $50 million a year — if not more. The last three mega-quarterback extensions — Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, and Jalen Hurts — were all in excess of that amount.

Tagovailoa started every game for the first time in his four-year career in 2023. He led the NFL in passing yards (4,624), was second in yards per pass (8.3), fifth in touchdowns (29), and fifth in passer rating (101.1).

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But another important part of the equation: Tagovailoa is 10-11 in December and January games in his career, completing 62.8% of his passes with 25 touchdowns and 19 interceptions, averaging 7.0 yards per attempt with a passer rating of 84.2.

Grier wouldn’t comment when asked specifically if he sees Tagovailoa as a $50 million player, but certainly, they’re going to try to get as much value out of the negotiations as possible.

“We’re gonna keep on talking with him,” Grier said. “We’ll work through it all. … I think everything will be productive. We’ll just see what happens.”

Tagovailoa was ineffective in the Dolphins’ playoff loss to the Chiefs, and McDaniel’s decision to not have Tagovailoa throw deep raised eyebrows.

Tagovailoa had nearly as many passes behind the line of scrimmage (nine) as he threw over 10 yards (10). Many have speculated that it was because he lacked the arm strength to cut through the cold wind.

“I think the type of defense that they were playing with aggressive re-routes and, it was a quarters man [coverage], predominantly,” McDaniel said. “That’s kind of what it’s kind of orchestrated to take away. I didn’t really think of it in that lens.”

 

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