NFL execs explore idea of Miami Dolphins replacing Tua Tagovailoa with Kirk Cousins

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Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

NFL executives explored the idea of the Miami Dolphins replacing quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with Kirk Cousins, who is a member of the Minnesota Vikings.

“Your upside with Tua certainly seems limited, so let’s say you can trade him,” an exec told The Athletic. “I would be exploring, ‘OK, Tua, we can win games with, probably not winning a championship with. Kirk Cousins, we can win games with, probably not winning a championship with. But our resources are better spent on Cousins plus draft picks than they are on just Tua.”

Another executive weighed in and expressed concern regarding Cousins’ health.

“If you could get a 2 and a 3 for Tua and sign Kirk, I’d want to make sure I felt comfortable about having him for three years from a health standpoint,” a different exec said. “I do think Tua works much better in a domed stadium where you know half your games are played in pristine conditions.”

Finally, the first executive admitted that he doesn’t know if replacing Tagovailoa with Cousins would make the Dolphins a better team.

“If you like Cousins and you can sign him to a three- or four-year deal and you can trade Tua for a couple of draft picks, that to me is a different type of path forward,” the first exec said. “I don’t know if it is the best one. You really have to be in that building to know, but if you are looking for alternatives, there is a pretty good one.”

Tagovailoa underperformed in Miami’s wild-card loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 13. He finished with just 199 passing yards and one passing touchdown. Plus, he threw one interception and completed just 20 of his 39 passing attempts.

However, Tagovailoa enjoyed a fantastic 2023 regular season. In his fourth season in the NFL and as a member of the Dolphins franchise, he accumulated a league-high 4,624 passing yards to go along with 29 passing touchdowns and 222 first downs passing.

Additionally, the 25-year-old quarterback averaged 272.0 passing yards per game on the season.

Arguably his best game of the 2023 regular season came in the Dolphins’ win over the Los Angeles Chargers all the way back on Sept. 10. He tallied a whopping 466 passing yards as well as three passing touchdowns in a game the Dolphins went on to win by a final score of 36-34 to pick up their first win of the regular season.

Tagovailoa appeared in all 17 of the Dolphins’ regular-season games and led the team to an impressive 11-6 record, which was tied with the Buffalo Bills for the AFC East division’s best record. However, the Dolphins didn’t clinch the division because they lost both of their matchups against the Bills during the regular season.

Before losing to the Bills in their final regular-season game on Jan. 7, the Dolphins suffered a 28-point loss to the Bills on Oct. 1, which marked the team’s first loss of the season.

Following Tagovailoa’s showing against the Chiefs, his future with the Dolphins could be up in the air. But as one of the NFL executives alluded to, it’s not clear as to whether replacing Tagovailoa with Cousins would make the Dolphins a better team.

After all, Cousins isn’t getting any younger at 35 years old, and he played in just eight of the Vikings’ 17 games during the 2023 regular season.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist. He has experience covering football at the high-school and professional levels.