NFL exec predicts Tua Tagovailoa will get at least $55M per year on new Dolphins deal

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

One anonymous NFL executive has predicted that Miami Dolphins signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa’s next deal will pay him at least $55 million annually.

“If you’re far apart, then don’t worry about it — but if you’re really close, if the agent’s at [$]58 million and you’re at 55 [million], go get it done,” a front office executive told ESPN regarding a new deal for Tagovailoa. “Whether it’s 56 and a half or 57, get it done. Now if they’re at 60 and you’re at 50, that’s a bigger gap to close.”

The executive also believes it’s in the Dolphins’ best interest to retain Tagovailoa.

“I think Miami’s come this far,” the executive said. “They’ve groomed him, he’s going to get better. You don’t want to lose him. It was so hard to get a quarterback. … It’s just finding that balance. My guess is $55 million [per year], maybe it’s more.”

Tagovailoa has yet to turn 27 years old — meaning he could very well have his best football ahead of him — but he has already staked his claim as one of the NFL’s most productive quarterbacks.

In the 2023 regular season, he served as the starting quarterback for a Dolphins team that won 11 of its 17 games, which put the team in a tie for the best record in the AFC East division. With Tagovailoa leading the way, the Dolphins tied for their most wins in a single regular season since the 2008 campaign, which was well over a decade ago.

For as much as Tagovailoa accomplished with the Dolphins in his fourth season with the team from a collective standpoint, he arguably enjoyed even more individual success. He had perhaps the best season of his NFL career from a statistical perspective, as he put up career-highs in passing yards (4,624), passing touchdowns (29), first downs passing (222) and completion percentage (69.3) in 17 appearances (all starts) with Miami.

The upcoming 2024 season will mark the fifth and final year of Tagovailoa’s rookie contract, which he signed with the Dolphins after the team drafted him in the opening round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Tagovailoa is set to earn over $23 million in the 2024 season.

Perhaps the Dolphins will wait and see if Tagovailoa can lead Miami to some success in the playoffs before offering him a contract extension. While Tagovailoa has already accomplished so much in his short time in the NFL, he has yet to win a playoff game, and he and the Dolphins suffered an embarrassing playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs back in January.

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