NFL Rumors: Miami Dolphins Hope to Extend Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa Before Training Camp

The Miami Dolphins believe they've found their answer at quarterback. According to NFL Network's Cameron Wolfe, the Dolphins hope to sign quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to a long-term extension before training camp, even if it means making him one of the NFL's highest-paid players.

Drafted with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Tagovailoa is entering the last year of his rookie contract; he's set to play out his fifth-year option on a $23.171 million salary. An extension could theoretically lower Tagovailoa's cap number, which would help the Dolphins: they're currently projected to be more than $29 million over the 2024 salary cap.

Tagovailoa has been one of the most effective and efficient quarterbacks in the league over the past two seasons, even leading the league in passing yards in 2023 and in passer rating in 2022. Still, it's difficult to discern whether he's a true difference-maker or simply the beneficiary of an elite system. 

Prior to the arrival of head coach Mike McDaniel and All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill in 2022, Tagovailoa's future in the league was murky: he'd averaged a mere 194.2 passing yards per game over 23 starts for an offense that scored 22.6 points per game from 2020-21. In the years since, Tagovailoa's production has skyrocketed to 272.4 passing yards per game, and the Dolphins have scored an excellent 26.3 points per game. 

Tagovailoa has also failed to prove himself in the postseason, missing the Dolphins' Wildcard Round loss to the Buffalo Bills following the 2022 season and struggling mightily in this year's 26-7 Wildcard Round loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Still, teams are generally reluctant to part with quality quarterback play. Tagovailoa has demonstrated he can operate the Dolphins offense at a high level; so long as the Dolphins can maintain the current quality of their roster, they'll likely remain one of the highest-scoring teams in the league. Whether or not that's possible with Tagovailoa making $50 million or more per season remains to be seen.  

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