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Update on Tua Tagovailoa and his future with the Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa
Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Tua Tagovailoa did very little to inspire confidence in his ability to be the Miami Dolphins’ franchise quarterback in Saturday night’s ugly loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL Playoffs.

The former first-round pick from Alabama completed a mere 20-of-39 passes for 199 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the disappointing 26-7 loss.

There’s a pretty interesting backdrop to Tua coming up small when it counted the most. He is set to be a free agent after the 2024 season. There certainly is some question about his ability to lead Miami to Super Bowl contention.

In his season-ending press conference, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier made it perfectly clear that the organization believes in Tagovailoa.

“We stayed in touch with his agent. We had good conversations throughout the year. We never talked about money or anything, just conversations about where he is and the relationship with Mike and the team here and everything he’s done. The goal is to have him here long-term playing at a high level. That’s always the goal and we will continue to communicate with him in the offseason.”

Miami Dolphins GM on Tua Tagovailoa contract extension

The 25-year-old Tagovailoa is set to play out the final year of his rookie contract at $23.17 million. Any new contract would obviously provide the still-young quarterback with a huge raise.

Related: Ranking Tua Tagovailoa among NFL starting quarterbacks

Tua Tagovailoa stats (2023): 69% completion, 4,624 yards, 29 TD, 14 INT

tua tagovailoa contract, miami dolphins
Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

As you can see, Tua put up a great statistical season in 2023. Though, some firmly believe he’s more of a product of Mike McDaniels’ offensive system as well as wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

We can debate that until we’re blue in the face.

What we do know is that the Dolphins are in a tricky situation. No one believes Tua is worth the $52.5 million Justin Herbert is making annually with the Los Angeles Chargers. He’s second behind Cincinnati Bengals star Joe Burrow among NFL players in terms of average annual salary.

Related: NFL executives suggest Tua Tagovailoa is the Miami Dolphins’ problem, should be traded

Tua is not an elite quarterback. He’s not a mid-tier starter. He’s in between This makes the Dolphins’ decision-making process that much more difficult.

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