The Miami Dolphins have yet to decide whether or not they want to pick up Tua Tagovailoa’s fifth-year option, but general manager Chris Grier recently stated that injury concerns surrounding Tagovailoa won’t scare the team away from signing him to a long-term deal.
Dolphins GM Chris Grier says of Tua: All expectations are he’s our QB and we hope for a long time.
Is durability a concern? I can’t lie and say no. But it won’t make us afraid to do something long term.
— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) March 1, 2023
Grier readily admitted that durability is a concern when talking about Tagovailoa. Anyone who has paid attention to the signal-caller’s career so far would know that.
He entered the NFL with durability concerns after suffering some pretty serious injuries in college. Since then, he has yet to suit up for more than 13 games in a single season.
Last season, he missed games in the middle of the campaign and at the end after suffering two separate concussions. The second concussion forced him to miss the Dolphins’ sole playoff game.
When teams discuss re-signing quarterbacks to long-term deals, there is no doubt that success on the field is the primary sticking point. However, players’ abilities to stay on the field is also a primary consideration.
In fact, Tagovailoa’s health concerns were the primary reason why former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky claimed that Miami could be a nice landing spot for Carson Wentz.
When the time comes for the Dolphins to make a decision about Tagovailoa’s future, it may be hard for them to rationalize paying him the big bucks if the organization feels as though it will always have to have an above-average backup on the roster just in case Tagovailoa goes down.
With that all in mind, it cannot be forgotten that when Tagovailoa was on the field in 2022, he looked fantastic. The University of Alabama product had a career year and led the league in some really important passing stats. He clicked immediately with star receiver Tyreek Hill and managed to improve his already strong chemistry with Jaylen Waddle.
If Tagovailoa can stay healthy, there is little doubt that he has what it takes to lead the Dolphins to success.
Given all that, it will be really interesting to see how the Dolphins approach contract negotiations with him going forward. The first major clue regarding their plans will come later this year when the team makes an official decision regarding his fifth-year option.