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The Miami Dolphins Doomsday Meter: Is Tua Tagovailoa safe?

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, all you can do is laugh.

You can laugh at this franchise.

Laugh at this general manager.

Laugh at this head coach.

Laugh at this owner – a man who has consistently partaken in so much mind-boggling buffoonery since purchasing the Miami Dolphins it’ll make your head spin.

Sometimes all you can do is laugh at the pain you feel every Sunday watching this team play.

Or do you even feel pain for this team anymore? For me, personally, I’ve become numb to the ways they try to hurt me each week. I’ll be spending the rest of the 2021 season watching Miami’s games in essentially a catatonic state, which, I suppose, is somewhat ironic, considering this team seems mostly lifeless on game days themselves.

Oh well, I guess. The beat goes on... and so does the Miami Dolphins Doomsday Meter! Who are we evaluating this week? Keep reading – and laughing – to find out!

Tua Tagovailoa – QB

MDDM Level – 0.0

Tuesday’s trade deadline came and went, and despite months of rumors, Tua Tagovailoa remains Miami’s starting quarterback for the duration of the 2021 season. In fact, Brian Flores confirmed that stance prior to the deadline passing, saying that barring injury, Tua would be the Dolphins’ starting QB for the rest of the year.

When it was all said and done, Deshaun Watson’s legal issues were not cleared up in time for Miami to comfortably commit to sending a reported three first round draft picks, plus more, for the talented, yet troubled, young QB. That doesn’t mean that they won’t revisit talks after the 2021 season, as long as Watson either settles his cases, or is cleared of any wrongdoing in regards to the 22 sexual assault allegations that he is currently faced with, but for now, Tua is safe.

9 games.

That’s how long Tua has left to prove that he is the solution for the Miami Dolphins at the most important position in football. If he plays up to his potential, Miami can hold onto the draft picks and cap space – important commodities for a future general manager should Chris Grier be relieved of his duties.

2022 may end up being a different story, but for 2021, Tagovailoa is safely off of the hot seat.

Lemuel Jeanpierre – Offensive Line Coach

MDDM level – 8.0

Lemuel Jeanpierre was an assistant offensive line coach for the Miami Dolphins in 2020 when the line featured multiple rookies making starts throughout the season. That season, the unit finished middle of the pack in regards to sacks allowed – giving up 34, tied for 15th in the league.

In 2021, Jeanpierre was tasked with leading the development of Miami’s young offensive line; a line that included former first round pick, Austin Jackson, former 2nd round picks, Robert Hunt and Liam Eichenberg, and former 4th round pick, Solomon Kindley.

So far, he’s done a poor job, to say the least. Solomon Kindley has regressed and has been relegated to backup duty despite starting 13 games last season. Austin Jackson has performed so badly at left tackle, that the former 18th overall pick has been moved to left guard, with middling (at best) play at that position as well. 2021 rookie, Liam Eichenberg, has been crossed trained at multiple spots, but finds himself at left tackle at the time of this writing, coming off of his worst game as a pro. Robert Hunt has been decent for the most part, but one must wonder if his best spot is not at right guard, but rather at right tackle where he played during most of his rookie year.

In 2021, Miami’s offensive line is giving up 2.4 sacks per game, up from 2.1 sacks a game in 2020, according to teamrankings.com. Tua Tagovailoa’s ability to get the ball out quickly and evade pressure has actually bettered that number over the past three games since his return from injury, as Miami is only allowing one sack per game over that timeframe. We’ll see if that trend continues.

Will Fuller – WR

MDDM Level – 9.0

Will Fuller has been an unmitigated disaster as a free agent signing for the Miami Dolphins this year. Signing a one-year, $10.63M deal this past offseason, many heralded the Dolphins’ front office for getting a bargain on such a talented wide receiver. The one caveat to that signing was the acknowledgment that Fuller had yet to play a full season in the NFL due to his penchant for sustaining injuries.

Well, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, nor can you teach an oft-injured athlete how to stay healthy, apparently.

After not practicing for much of training camp due to a reported foot injury, Fuller found himself suspended for his first game as a Dolphin as he finished up his punishment for PED use during his last season in Houston. Fuller then missed Miami’s week two contest with Buffalo due to an undisclosed personal issue.

Returning to action in week three, Fuller finished with just 3 receptions for 20 yards. In week four, he had one catch for 6 yards before once again leaving with an injury – this time a broken finger.

Brian Flores has already ruled Will Fuller OUT for Miami’s week nine matchup with his former squad, the Houston Texans, but did say that he expects that the 27 year old wideout will return at some point this season.

When will that be? Your guess is as good as mine, but I’m not sure it matters at this point. Sitting at 4 receptions for 26 yards at the season’s midway point, it’s almost a certainty that Will Fuller will not be brought back to Miami for the 2022 season.

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Do you agree with Miami’s decision to roll with Tua Tagovailoa as the starting QB for the rest of the 2021 season? Do you see them making a move for Watson at the beginning of the new league year in March? Who on Miami’s wide-receiver unit is worth investing in going forward? Let me know on Twitter at @MBrave13 or in the comments below! Fins up!