Most of this year’s top draft picks – including No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow – have yet to ink their rookie contracts. You can put Tua Tagovailoa in the “signed” column. On Monday, the Dolphins agreed to terms with the quarterback on his first NFL deal (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com).
Per the terms of his slot, the Alabama star will earn $30.275MM over the course of his four-year pact. And, because he’s a first-round pick, the Dolphins will also hold a fifth-year option for his services, allowing them to leg out the arrangement through 2024. Per the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, that extra year will not be guaranteed exclusively for injury, it’d be just plain guaranteed.
The Dolphins tried their best to run a misdirection play with Justin Herbert, but they ultimately chose Tagovailoa, their longtime draft crush, with the No. 5 overall pick. With that, he’s set to take center stage in South Beach while grizzled and bearded veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick shows him the ropes.
Tagovailoa easily could have been the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, if not for his career-threatening injury and Burrow’s absolutely absurd final season at LSU. Tagovailoa’s camp says he’s on track for 100% health this year and doctors that have checked him out are in agreement. If his hip, wrist, and ankle injuries stay in the rearview mirror, Tagovailoa figures to have a bright future ahead.
As a fully healthy sophomore in 2018, Tagovailoa dazzled as he threw for almost 4,000 yards and 43 touchdowns with only six interceptions. In that year, he was the runner-up for the Heisman trophy behind Kyler Murray, the eventual No. 1 overall pick.
Tagovailoa finished his college career with a Division I-FBS-record 10.9 yards per attempt. The dynamic southpaw also exited Tuscaloosa with an 87-11 career TD-INT ratio. He represents the most-hyped Dolphins quarterback Since Dan Marino, whom the franchise has been trying to replace for 20 years.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.