The Miami Dolphins have a decision this offseason on star young quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. They have to decide whether to pick up the quarterback’s option for the 2024 season, which is projected to come in at north of $23 million.
Tua is also eligible for a contract extension this offseason for the first time in his career, joining fellow 2020 classmates Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert on that list.
The backdrop here are the concussion issues Tua dealt with a season ago. It led to questions about his future in the NFL with concerns about the signal caller’s long-term health.
From a practical standpoint, these issues should play a role in the Dolphins’ decision-making process.
According to general manager Chris Grier, these concussion issues won’t have much of an impact when discussing a new deal with the soon-to-be 25-year-old quarterback.
“I mean, I can’t lie and say no, but it’s not something that it’s gonna make us afraid to do something long term at all. The one thing he’s had he’s been banged up but he always comes back and bounces back and plays hard and performs. Excited for his future. Excited for watching him doing all the work he’s been doing in the offseason here right now to prepare for 2023 and he’s very excited to get back on the field with his teammates.”Miami Dolphins’ Chris Grier on Tua Tagovailoa’s health issues
Tua was cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocols shortly after Miami’s season came to an end in the AFC Wild Card Playoffs against the division-rival Buffalo Bills. Prior to all of the health concerns, the former Alabama standout was playing at an incredibly high level for first-year head coach Mike McDaniel.
- Tua Tagovailoa stats (2022): 64.8% completion, 3,548 yards, 25 TD, 8 INT, 105.5 QB rating
Tua led the NFL in touchdown percentage, yards per attempt and quarterback rating in 13 starts. In his third season, the former No. 5 overall pick was seen as an early NFL MVP candidate.
Related: Could the Miami Dolphins replace Tua Tagovailoa in 2024?
Tua Tagovailoa contract talks, concussion issues
Then, came the concussion issues that painted both the Dolphins and the NFL in a bad light. Tua initially suffered a head injury in a game against the aforementioned Bills in Week 3.
Surprisingly, he was able to play just four days later against the Cincinnati Bengals. He then suffered another head injury and was forced to miss a couple weeks of action. Tagovailoa’s season ultimately came to an end Week 16 against the Green Bay Packers when he suffered yet another concussion.
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From the Miami Dolphins’ perspective, protecting themselves from Tua Tagovailoa’s injury history has to be in the cards. The logical move would be to pick up his option for the 2024 season and wait until next March to discuss a long-term extension. This would give Grier and Co. a better understanding of how these concussions will impact Tua long-term.
If the Fins were to sign him to an extension this offseason, it makes sense that the total guarantees wouldn’t be anywhere near the level of other top-end signal callers around the NFL.