Mike Florio says Tua Tagovailoa’s cancelled interview on his show was ‘agent retaliation’

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Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

One NFL insider is claiming that a series of canceled radio interviews with Tua Tagovailoa came as retaliation from the Miami Dolphins quarterback’s new representation.

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk indicated (at the 6:30 mark) during a Friday appearance on “The Joe Rose Show” that previous comments directed at the unnamed agent were apparently the reason why Tagovailoa’s interview with “PFT Live” was abruptly canceled.


“Well, it had nothing to do with Tua,” Florio said. “He did not turn us down. He did not fail to show up. It’s a bigger story. It’s a broader story, and it’s something that I’m trying to work through behind the scenes. It has more to do with the agency that represents him now than it does him. I’ll just leave it at that.

“But it wasn’t like he said, ‘Oh I see these two buttholes. I’m not gonna be on their show.’ We were locked in. It was set. It was good to go, but apparently someone from his agency became aware that he was gonna be on. It has more to do with one of the specific agents and something that was said about one of the agents at one point that apparently has become an issue. And that’s something I’m trying to work through, and I prefer to work through it behind the scenes, but I also want to be transparent about what happened.

“This wasn’t Tua, and if he hadn’t changed agents from Leigh Steinberg to the firm he’s currently with, he would have been on. This is more about agent retaliation for something that was said about him on one of our shows.”

As noted, Tagovailoa was previously represented by Steinberg. The Dolphins signal-caller recently switched to the duo of Ryan Williams and Austin Lyman.

The timing of Tagovailoa’s cancelled appearance on Florio’s program was controversial, coming just as the show was starting.

In addition to that cancellation, scheduled appearances by Tagovailoa on Pat McAfee’s show and other programs were also stopped.

Other appearances by players like Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields and top draft prospect C.J Stroud were also cancelled by the agency.

There has been speculation that the basis of the agent animosity stems from comments made about the controversy surrounding Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Watson was accused by a series of women of inappropriate behavior, which led to a suspension from the NFL. Despite the accusations, Watson has continually denied any wrongdoing.

In addition to that speculation, there has been some conjecture as to the reason for Tagovailoa’s change of agents. The timing of the change correlates with Tagovailoa now being in position to sign a lucrative contract extension with the Dolphins.

Tagovailoa’s 2022 season was a roller coaster of success and controversy. When on the field, he threw for 3,548 yards, 25 touchdowns and just eight interceptions.

However, he was also the focal point of questions about concussions. That first came about when he returned to a game against the Buffalo Bills after staggering to the ground.

Just four days later, Tagovailoa was carted off the field with a concussion during the Dolphins’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Finally, Tagovailoa’s season came to an end on Christmas Day, when another blow affected his play during the second half of a loss to the Green Bay Packers.

During Tagovailoa’s three seasons with the Dolphins, he’s been the subject of some trade speculation. Yet, he’s expected to be back as the team’s starting quarterback for the 2023 season.

It seems likely that the Dolphins and Tagovailoa’s agents will seek to work out a new contract, with media controversies not likely to play a part during negotiations. However, some NFL executives have questioned the wisdom of a new deal, given Tagovailoa’s injury issues.

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Brad is a freelance writer for Dolphinnation.com and has been around long enough to remember the 1972 perfect season, and even when Don Shula was coaching the Colts. He still follows the Dolphins and other happenings in the NFL, so he can offer a little perspective when it comes to the ups and downs of each season. Some of his opinions may end up differing from the people who read them, but that's par for the course when it comes to life in South Florida.