Jan 17, 2024 - News

Tagovailoa's future with Dolphins uncertain after playoff loss

Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins runs as he is pursued by George Karlaftis #56 and Mike Edwards #21 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half in the AFC Wild Card Playoffs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium

Tua Tagovailoa runs as he is pursued by two Kansas City Chiefs defenders during the AFC wild-card playoffs on Jan. 13. Photo: David Eulitt/Getty Images

As the dust settles from another disappointing Dolphins season, the team is once again facing questions about quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Driving the news: Tagovailoa, who was named to his first Pro Bowl this year and led the NFL in passing yards, had a great regular season statistically and helped propel Miami to the playoffs for the second straight season.

  • But the offense struggled against good teams all year and went out with a whimper on Saturday, losing 7–26 to the Chiefs in the opening game of the playoffs.

Why it matters: Miami is in win-now mode and has constructed a superstar roster with the goal of competing for a Super Bowl, so regular season accolades and media buzz don't count for much.

The intrigue: Tagovailoa, who now enters his fifth season, will be owed a minimum of $23.2 million in the final year of his deal.

  • The Dolphins have three options: extend his contract, make him earn an extension with better play this year or trade for a different quarterback.

What they're saying: South Florida Sun Sentinel columnists Chris Perkins and Dave Hyde discussed Tagovailoa's struggles yesterday on an episode of their podcast, "Dolphins Deep Dive."

  • Perkins said the team needs to continue building around Tagovailoa because he's not capable of carrying the team like Patrick Mahomes and other superstar QBs can.
  • Maybe that means adding a power running back or a receiving tight end, he said.
  • "Now that you've seen what Tua is — that's not a shot at him, this is reality — you have to help him even more," Perkins said.
  • Hyde wrote this week that Miami can't pay Tagovailoa like a franchise quarterback until he proves he can be one.

What else: Miami will have contract decisions to make on star defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, center Connor Williams, right guard Robert Hunt and outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel, per the Sun Sentinel.

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