NFL Trade Rumors: Miami Dolphins and Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa Working on Extension

The Miami Dolphins are ready to make a significant commitment to quarterback Tau Tagovailoa. According to NFL Network's Cameron Wolfe, the Dolphins and their Pro Bowl quarterback remain in contract negotiations, and both parties hope to reach a deal "before the regular season."

After two underwhelming years to start his career, Tagovailoa's production has exploded since head coach Mike McDaniel arrived in Miami: Tagovailoa led the league in passer rating in 2022 and passing yards in 2023. The Dolphins even scored 29.3 points per game last season, second most in the league.

That success doesn't necessarily mean extending Tagovailoa is an easy decision. He suffered a series of frightening head and neck injuries in 2022 that cost him four games, and he fell on his face in his first playoff appearance, a 26-7 first-round loss to the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this year. It's still unclear if Tagovailoa is an elite quarterback or merely the beneficiary of McDaniel's system and the otherworldly talents of All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill (106.3 receiving yards per game since 2022).

Tagovailoa is entering the fifth-year option portion of his rookie contract and is set to earn $23.171 million this season. He's due for unrestricted free agency next offseason, and applying the franchise tag in 2025 could cost the Dolphins approximately $42.5 million per overthecap. An extension could theoretically lower his cap hits for both seasons.

Still, any deal Tagovailoa would be willing to sign will certainly come with an enormous price tag. Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence recently signed a five-year, $275 million extension that tied him with Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow for the highest annual average in the league ($55 million). Tagovailoa's production, efficiency, and record as a starter easily outpace Lawrence, and he's less than two years older. As shocking as it may sound, Tagovailoa could realistically become the league's highest-paid player in the coming months.

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