Over the last several weeks, Miami Dolphins fans have been bickering back and forth over whether or not the team should pick up quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s 5th-year option before the May 1st deadline.
On one side, some believe the Dolphins should not pick up Tua’s 5th-year option and would prefer the team wait and see what happens before committing more money to their starting quarterback. Others view Tagovailoa as the long-term answer at the position and want to see a long-term deal reached sooner rather than later. And many are stuck in the middle, unsure of the next move.
I have a clear idea of what I think will happen, but before I give my thoughts, let’s look at each scenario.
First, let’s take a look at what Tagovailoa is set to make in 2023. According to Spotrac, Tua’s cap hit next season is $ 9.633,094 million. Admittedly, this is pennies compared to what other quarterbacks around the league are making, but not unheard of for those players still on a rookie deal. Still, with guys like Daniel Jones potentially making northward of $
35 40 million per season, Tua and his new representation will have a pretty good case for why their client deserves an extension.
After all, when healthy, Tagovailoa looked the part of a franchise quarterback, leading Miami to an 8-5 record and helping the team reach the post-season for the first time since 2016. In his first season with head coach Mike McDaniel, Tagovailoa completed 64.8% of his passes for 3,548 yards, 25 touchdowns, and eight interceptions — his best season since being drafted fifth overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. He also led the NFL with a 105.5 passer rating, but you already knew that.
(P.S. I know these are from the first four games, but I posted them because they’re some of my favorite throws from Tua Tagovailoa — EVER!)
Realistically, there are three paths that the Dolphins could take. The least likely (IMO) is that Miami will do nothing and let Tua Tagovailoa play out the final year of his contract. I don’t know why anyone would think this is a good option, especially when you look around the league and see that even average quarterback play will cost a small fortune.
So sure, if you want to believe the Dolphins will let their 25-year-old quarterback — who, when healthy, looked pretty damn good in 2023 — walk for nothing, you can believe that. I don’t. If we're being completely honest, this is the least likely scenario (IMO) and would probably make me question Grier and McDaniel’s decision-making.
Today is “negotiating in public” day for the Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa, who recently changed agents with the intention of leveraging his breakout year into a contract extension.— Chris Kouffman (@ckparrot) February 14, 2023
Everyone suddenly and conspicuously pumping the non-Tua options Miami have at QB this off season.
Another decision that would make me feel a bit uneasy is giving Tua a contract extension this offseason. Sure, you can make the case as to why it’s better to sign him now before guys like Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, and Jalen Hurts break the bank; I can respect that and would honestly understand why it would happen. That seems far more likely than the Dolphins doing nothing and letting Tua walk.
Nevertheless, I can’t — in good faith — push this agenda because despite all the boxes QB1 has checked off over the years, there’s still one that he hasn’t been able to achieve, and that is playing an entire 17-game season. That’s right, even the most diehard Tua stan doesn’t think signing him long-term this offseason is necessary.
(With each passing day and every new report that comes out regarding how much Jalen Hurts, Daniel Jones, and Lamar Jackson will make + Tua’s new agent, I’m starting to think this may be where things are headed.)
tannehill got 7 years, i think it's only fair we give tua 8. https://t.co/RLO5cNDuba— josh houtz (@houtz) February 19, 2021
This brings me to the third and most obvious option — the Miami Dolphins pick up Tua Tagovailoa’s 5th-year option and lock him up for the next two seasons. For those that might not know, the 5th-year option would pay Tagovailoa $23 million in 2024. Add that to his 2023 cap hit of $9.633M, and you’re essentially looking at a two-year deal worth $33M – and an additional two years to decide on what to do with Tagovailoa long-term. This, to me, seems like the most logical answer. And for a general manager – that drafted Tagovailoa – and a head coach – that thinks the world of him – I don’t see any other outcome here.
Sign Tagovailoa to his fifth-year option and revisit things in 2024. Because, as of right now, a long-term deal will be massive for Tua, and you want to know exactly what you have before committing to a QB long-term. Then again, with every passing day, another quarterback gets paid more and more than the next. If the Dolphins are confident in Tagovailoa, even with the injury concerns, I say go for it. Or, as the greatest quarterback of all time once said
“Eff it, send it in!”
The Miami Dolphins...
This poll is closed
SHOULD pick up Tua Tagovailoa’s 5th-year option?
should NOT pick up Tua Tagovailoa’s 5th-year option?
SHOULD lock Tua Tagovailoa up long-term this offseason
What are your thoughts on Tua Tagovailoa’s 5th-year option? Is it a no-brainer that the Dolphins should pick it up? Should the team look to extend Tagovailoa long-term this offseason? How confident are you that Tua is the Dolphins’ quarterback of the future? Let us know in the comments section below!