When wide receiver Tyreek Hill was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, quarterback Patrick Mahomes was named the NFL MVP. Now a member of the Miami Dolphins, Tyreek Hill’s presence somehow lessens the play of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa - not on the field, but rather through the eyes of analysts. Mahomes to Hill was because of the greatness of Mahomes. Tagovailoa to Hill is clearly only because of Hill.
Yes, the Miami Dolphins have weapons all over their offense. Hill, wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, and running back Raheem Mostert are ridiculous pieces of the puzzle. Rookie De’Von Achane, currently on injured reserve, looks to be another great option for the offense.
But, Tagovailoa leading the offense, executing it to perfection, and putting the ball where it needs to be when it needs to be there, is not because of Hill, Waddle, Mostert, Achane, or anyone else on the roster. That is Tagovailoa being an elite-level quarterback.
And it is Tagovailoa being a quarterback that would be in demand if he were to hit the free agent market.
Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd would seem to disagree. He believes that there may be four teams who would consider Tagovailoa a must-have quarterback on the market. Fellow 2020 first-round picks Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow would have a much bigger demand, according to Cowherd’s analysis. Herbert would have 25 general managers calling to acquire him, while Burrow would have 28. Again, Tagovailoa would have four.
Cowherd’s reasoning includes Tagovailoa’s concussion history from last season along with durability and size issues, head coach Mike McDaniel being “ahead of the market, and the “fastest wide receiving corps of all time.” Cowherd stresses that Tagovailoa is a good quarterback in McDaniel’s system, but it is the system that makes him good and that is it.
The parallel, according to Cowherd, for whether the Dolphins should extend Tagovailoa is the New York Giants and Daniel Jones. The Giants bid against themselves, according to the Fox Sports analyst, and now they regret it. The Dolphins would be doing the same thing, he seems to imply.
It really does feel like analysts are simply looking at the Dolphins roster and trying to find a way to make sure their prior criticsm of Tagovailoa is still valid. After years of saying the Dolphins missed on Tagovailoa, now the Dolphins are having success - almost in spite of having Tagovailoa rather than because of him.
Two days ago, we took a look at ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith’s “analysis” of Tagovailoa’s play, pointing out that he clearly was telling us he had not watched the Miami Dolphins without telling us he has not watched the Miami Dolphins. Now Cowherd can join the group.