Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa On Contract Situation

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is extension-eligible, but he is also under club control through 2024 since Miami exercised the fifth-year option of his rookie deal. Although GM Chris Grier suggested earlier this offseason — and before he picked up his QB’s fifth-year option — that an extension was on the table, Tagovailoa himself told reporters on Wednesday that there have been no long-term contract talks, at least not recently.

“I haven’t talked about any contract since what I’ve understood with my fifth-year [option],” Tagovailoa said (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk).

Fellow 2020 draftee Justin Herbert recently landed a massive new deal from the Chargers, and Joe Burrow, the No. 1 overall pick of that class, will likely score an even more lucrative pact in short order. Players like Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson have also put pen to paper on eye-popping extensions this offseason.

Tagoailoa, though, is content with his current status. “I don’t think that’s a worry of mine,” he said. “When things come, they’ll come because you either deserved it or it’s supposed to happen that way.”

The Fins’ apparent desire to let the 2023 season play out before committing to Tagovailoa on a long-term basis is certainly understandable. The Alabama product made great strides under rookie head coach Mike McDaniel in 2022, but his season was also marked by serious concussion issues. He displayed concussion-like symptoms in Week 3 against the Bills, and while he returned to action shortly after that sequence, an NFLPA investigation into the Dolphins’ handling of the situation led to an overhaul of the NFL’s concussion protocol. Tagovailoa entered the protocol four days later, after being stretchered off the field in Cincinnati, and he was placed in the revised protocol a day after sustaining an unspotted concussion against Green Bay on Christmas Day. He missed four full games last year, and the head injuries — to say nothing of the time he missed due to other maladies over the 2020-21 campaigns — have obviously created cause for concern. He even admitted earlier this year that he considered retirement.

Fortunately, doctors have told Tagovailoa that CTE is not a concern for him, and that no medical evidence proves that concussions are more likely eight to 12 months after suffering one (or two, or three). As such, he is back on the field and looking to build upon an otherwise promising campaign in which he led the league in quarterback rating (105.5), TD% (6.3%), and yards per attempt (8.9). If he can do that while remaining healthy, he will be a legitimate extension candidate next offseason.

“I think regardless of what it is, if [the Dolphins] wanted to do it now, if they wanted to wait, whatever,” Tagovailoa said. “I think for myself, I’m always a person that wants to prove to myself that I deserve whatever I get. So for me, I feel like this is something that I need to work for. It’s as plain and simple as that.”

In related news, two contract-year members of Miami’s roster — center Connor Williams and DT Zach Sieler — timely reported to training camp. As Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets, both players are nonetheless continuing their push for new deals. Williams skipped mandatory mincamp and OTAs, and Sieler attended minicamp after missing at least some OTAs.

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