The Baltimore Ravens have informed the NFLPA that they’ve placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on quarterback Lamar Jackson. This means Jackson can negotiate with any team but the Ravens retain the right to match any formal offer from another team. Despite rumors that the Miami Dolphins might be interested in Jackson, they seem set on sticking with the team’s current quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa.
The Dolphins will not be pursuing Lamar Jackson or any other starting QBs this off-season, multiple team sources tell me. As one source said, “Mike fully believes Tua is the perfect fit for his system.”
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) March 7, 2023
Jackson was born and raised in South Florida, and some people believe his connection to his hometown area may fuel his desire to play for the Dolphins. Tagovailoa’s long-term durability has also been a concern over the years. These two factors have contributed to the narrative that Jackson and the Dolphins may have mutual interest in each other.
However, head coach Mike McDaniel apparently still believes in Tagovailoa, and the team seems committed to the University of Alabama product. Tagovailoa was chosen by the Dolphins with the fifth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. After struggling with inconsistency and injuries in his first two NFL seasons, the Hawaiian-born quarterback had a breakthrough year in 2022.
Tagovailoa led the NFL in passer rating in 2022 (among quarterbacks with at least 14 pass attempts per game). Jackson ranked 17th in passer rating, although he has enjoyed more overall success in his NFL career than Tagovailoa has by most measures.
Since being drafted by the Ravens in 2018, Jackson has thrown for 12,209 yards and rushed for 4,437 yards. The University of Louisville product also boasts a record of 45 wins and 16 losses in games he’s started for the Ravens. The potential of Tagovailoa, however, is clearly enticing enough for the Dolphins to remain confident in him as their starter for the foreseeable future.
Tagovailoa has struggled to remain healthy throughout his entire football career. He suffered multiple concussions in the 2022 season, and many around the league have questioned whether it will be worth picking up his fifth-year option. The Dolphins have until May 1, 2023 to decide whether or not they will do that. That will be the true indicator of just how committed the Dolphins really are to Tagovailoa.