The Miami Dolphins have yet to decide whether or not to pick up Tua Tagovailoa’s fifth-year option, and one team insider believes the team might be delaying its decision in order to see if Lamar Jackson becomes available.
“It seems plain to me the Dolphins are delaying their Tagovailoa decision as close to the May 1 deadline as possible waiting for movement in the Jackson/Baltimore stalemate,” wrote Greg Cote of the Miami Herald.
While the Baltimore Ravens seem to be interested in retaining Jackson, the relationship between the two sides appears to be a bit fraught.
The main issue between the two sides reportedly involves guaranteed money. According to Jamison Hensley of ESPN, Jackson wants a fully guaranteed deal like the one the Cleveland Browns gave Deshaun Watson last year.
“According to sources, Jackson wants a fully guaranteed deal like the one given to Deshaun Watson last year, and the Ravens have been reluctant to offer that because they believe Watson’s deal is more of an outlier than a precedent,” wrote Hensley. “DeCosta called it a ‘tough negotiation’ with Jackson, who is one of the few high-profile players who represents himself rather than employing an agent.”
Only 10 active NFL quarterbacks have fully guaranteed deals. Something interesting to note, though, is that plenty of those players are still on their rookie contracts. Tagovailoa is among the 10 signal-callers.
Jackson has been linked to the Dolphins previously. In fact, in January of this year, it was reported that some people believe the University of Louisville product wants to return to his native Florida to play for the Dolphins.
It hasn’t yet been reported whether or not the Dolphins are interested at all in bringing the former MVP to South Florida. Tagovailoa is expected back as the team’s starter for the 2023 season.
The former No. 5 overall pick’s fifth-year option is set to be worth nearly $23.2 million. That’s a pretty hefty price to pay for a player that has yet to play a full season in the NFL.
Last season, Tagovailoa suffered two concussions, the second of which knocked him out of the team’s lone playoff game against the Buffalo Bills.
Dolphins general manager Chris Grier recently said that Tagovailoa’s injuries won’t make the team afraid to give him a long-term deal.
Perhaps the team’s thinking will change if Jackson becomes available this offseason.