Miami Dolphins reportedly refusing to pay Tua Tagovailoa market value

Tua Tagovailoa
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

After being held back by injuries during his first three years, Tua Tagovailoa is coming off his best NFL season yet. He started all 17 games for the first time in his career, led the NFL in passing yards, and marched the Miami Dolphins to the second-highest-scoring offense in the league.

While the Dolphins ultimately fell well short of their goals after colliding with the Super Bowl-bound Kansas City Chiefs in what looked like the second coming of the Ice Bowl, Miami can be confident that they’ve found their franchise quarterback.

Yet, for whatever reason, the Dolphins haven’t been able to agree on contract value for their 26-year-old cornerstone. As of now, Tagovailoa’s set to play out the year on a $23.1 million contract, but after the season ends, he becomes a free agent. And we’ve all seen how hitting the open market can lead to inflated prices in free agency.

Any team that doesn’t have a franchise solution under center is a candidate to become a major player in Tagovailoa’s free-agency process, and the Dolphins know it. We’ve seen several other quarterbacks sign massive extensions this offseason, from Trevor Lawrence’s five-year, $275 million contract, to Jared Goff’s four-year, $212 million deal, players are constantly re-setting the market among highest-paid quarterbacks.

Miami Dolphins won’t pay Tua Tagovailoa ‘Jared Goff money’

But where does Tagovailoa land? According to Spotrac, his market value is worth $52.6 million annually. This would place him just below Goff’s annual value of $53M.

Yet, the Dolphins apparently feel like Tagovailoa’s not even worth the current market value.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington and Omar Kelly, the Dolphins aren’t budging in negotiations. They won’t even match the contract Goff signed this offseason.

“(The Dolphins) are not offering the contract that is the market value. Based on my conversations, they are not in the Jared Goff and Trevor Lawrence ballpark.”

Jeff Darlington on Tua Tagovailoa Miami Dolphins contract extension

How does Tagovailoa feel about this? He already said, “The market is the market,” seemingly an indication that he and his agency understand his worth. Yet, the Dolphins don’t seem to agree, which is why there’s been this long delay in getting a deal done.

Related: See where Tua Tagovailoa lands in Sportsnaut’s NFL QB Rankings

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