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Tua Tagovailoa will be the Miami Dolphins’ starting quarterback in 2021

Brian Flores and Chris Grier reaffirmed their commitment to Tua as the team’s starter going forward.

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

As the Miami Dolphins head into the 2021 offseason following an unceremonious departure from the NFL playoff picture, there are many questions that the team’s brass must address to help catapult this team from 10-6 playoff chaser to a top-of-the-league Super Bowl contender. Some NFL pundits believed the quarterback position would be the center of one of those questions. Per head coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier, that is simply not the case.

During a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Grier reaffirmed rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa’s status as the team’s starting quarterback of the future. “Tua we’re very happy with,” Grier began. “He’s our starting quarterback. He did a nice job this year coming in as a rookie with no offseason and the challenges of dealing with all that. We’re very happy with that and looking forward to watching him progress here over the next offseason and going into next year.”

Those kinds of comments could maybe be blown off as simply “front office-speak.” Maybe Grier just wanted to avoid fracturing Tua’s confidence (as if that was possible) or the team’s relationship with the presumed face of the franchise.


“We want to be clear that Tua’s our starter,” Grier emphasized. “And we’re very happy with his development so far.”

Clear as crystal.

Flores and Grier believe in Tagovailoa. Yes, they had front row seats to his struggles this season. Tua may have been benched for Fitzpatrick at times when the team needed a more reckless, gunslinging approach, he may have struggled to consistently throw the ball downfield, and he may have not meshed with Chan Gailey’s scheme in ways that Flores hoped for. But Flores and Grier are happy with the development they saw. Tua had an 11:5 touchdown to interception ratio. He made game-winning plays in Miami’s contests against the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots. Tua exhibited poise, leadership, and an ability to protect the football every week. There were tangible signs that Tua can win games (and be the reason that Miami wins games too).

There are plenty of questions for the Dolphins going forward, many of which revolve around the QB position. How will Miami build around Tua? What will the Dolphins do with the offensive scheme around Tua. But one thing seems certain at the center of it all: Tua will be back in 2021.