Tua Tagovailoa would trade popularity, jersey sales for Super Bowl win

Kansas City Chiefs v Miami Dolphins
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Just before the Super Bowl, the NFLPA released numbers for player merchandising sales covering the period from March 1 to Nov. 30 last year.

Tom Brady topped the list, followed by Patrick Mahomes. But slotting in at No. 4 was Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa.

The quarterback was selected fifth overall last spring, but had a middling rookie season. He’s been noticeably self-critical of his first year as a pro, saying in several offseason interviews that he could have performed better. But Tagovailoa also would be willing to let go of some of the spotlight to win more games.

“I’d say it did surprise me, but it shows the support the fans in Miami and Dolphins nation have for our team,” Tagovailoa said of his jersey sales, via Bill Bender of SportingNews.com. “It’s very honorable to say the least that a lot of Dolphins fans want to buy my jersey. At the end of the day, I think popularity falls on the last of my list of things that I want.

“I just want to help my team win games, man. … If I could give up the whole popularity deal and win a Super Bowl, then I would do that in a heartbeat.”

Tagovailoa ended 2020 completing 64.1 percent of his passes for 1,814 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. If Tagovailoa can take a significant step forward in 2021, he’ll have a good shot at accomplishing the goal to win more games. Plus, that’ll only help him continue to sell plenty of merchandise.