For the Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa, actions will speak much more loudly than words

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills
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After Sunday’s playoff loss to the Bills, Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said all the right things regarding the future of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Ultimately, Tua’s future in Miami will be determined by actions, not words.

“You guys know how I feel about Tua and that hasn’t changed at all,” McDaniel told reporters. “I see, I think we all see him as the leader of this team and when it’s appropriate for him to lead the team, I will jump on that opportunity. He’s a great player with only improvement in front of him as well. We’re talking about a 24-year-old quarterback that I think when I signed up for this job, I spent six months trying to convince people that he was good. So the fact that people are – the fact that Las Vegas saw it as a four-point swing when it was announced that he was – it means that, he’s a — yes, this is a challenging time for him, yes, his health is of primary importance, but I would be a fool to not embrace him when he’s healthy and ready to go. We’ll all be excited for that.”

There’s no question that Tua can play. Even if the Dolphins flirted with the idea of trading for Jimmy Garoppolo in the 2022 offseason (and Garoppolo claims they did), Tua played very well this year. When he was able to play.

The issue isn’t his ability when playing but his ability to play. He’ll surely be cleared to play again after two or three concussions in 2022. But what happens in 2023? Will he suffer more head injuries?

He hasn’t taken big, dramatic hits. His head strikes the ground when a much larger player pulls him to the ground. It’s a matter of basic physics. And the physics aren’t on his side. Unless he can better protect himself, it possibly will continue.

The Dolphins know this. That’s why what they do will mean so much more than what they say. If, for example, they’re fully committed to Tua, they could pick up his fifth-year option. Not on May 3, but today.

Or they could sign him to a long-term deal. Not during or after the coming season but now.

Those are the kinds of actions that will breathe much more life into their plans for Tua than anything anyone could ever say. And the simple truth is that, until they pick up his option or extend his contract, there’s a chance that they won’t.

19 responses to “For the Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa, actions will speak much more loudly than words

  1. When was the last time an NFL player was held out a month due to a concussion? Answer= Never. NFL optics? Can’t have this replay again next year. That is the definition of insanity. Need changes.

  2. I wouldn’t bet my future anymore on Tua…draft a QB high and trade him. He’s like a car that’s been in the shop too much and costing you a ton to fix. Unload him now while you can something for him.

  3. If your football team “belongs” to a part-time player — for whatever reason — then your team is destined to fail.

    If Sean gets too expensive you think Tommy would bring along Bruce, for chuckles and grins?

  4. NO TEAM in the world would pick up Tua’s 5th year option until they are fully assured he has completely recovered from his CURRENT concussion symptoms. Then there has to be an honest medical discussion on the likelihood (and no one can say for sure but he certainly seems more susceptible than others too them) of future concussions.

    That said the Fins still need to prepare for the chance he can’t play again or if he does that he gets knocked out again.

    I’m sorry but this isn’t a charity organization here it is a multi-billion business. Tua’s next year is (probably) fully guaranteed for injury so if he never plays another down he will already have made more money, much much more money, than most people see in a lifetime.

    It’s not a matter of “action speak louder than words” it is a matter of what is best for the other players on the team and the organization not just Tua.

    Welcome to the real world.

  5. Dolphine need to utilize their resources to build the strongest pass blocking unit for the ’23 season. Tua is a worth it, he was a revelation in ’22. They were probably the most exciting passing offense this season.

  6. It makes no sense to extend Tua’s contract in Miami given his recurring concussions. The only way they can justify it would be building a wall around him & wrapping his head in bubble wrap.There was really only the hit in Cincinnati that most considered a brutally hard hit – getting wrapped up & slammed head first into the turf. He’s just too small to spring off of tacklers & too fragile to absorb the hit and IMHO not worth the risk…unless of course his contract has an injury clause – which I doubt the NFLPA would allow.

  7. They should pick up his 5th yr option but there’s no way I give him a long term deal prior to making it through 2023 without a concussion.

  8. McDaniels is in way over his head. He can’t even get the plays called in time and he blames others on his staff.

    Horrible leadership.

  9. The fins have little choice but to ride with Tua the next 2 years as the draft picks are gone.

    The best thing they can do is invest in linemen that can keep him upright

  10. There will be some solid short-term options available as free agents and Skylar Thompson could be a long-term solution to keep in the fold and continue to learn. If they’re going to move on from Tua, this would be the off-season to do it……

  11. Two issues with a Tua contract:
    1. Injuries. Hip exploded in college, tightrope surgery on ankles, broken rib, and now concussions. How many more parts does have left to get injured?

    2. He is not truly elite. Yes, the dolphins were better with Tua. But he tailed off during December. Teams don’t want to pay a QB top money for a not-top 10 QB.

    But, our opinions don’t matter. If you love the guy, I dare you to pay him like a top QB.

  12. 2. He is not truly elite. Yes, the dolphins were better with Tua. But he tailed off during December. Teams don’t want to pay a QB top money for a not-top 10 QB.
    I’m not disagreeing, but I do wonder how much of that poor play was the residual effect of concussions. He made some brutal reads and decisions in those games…….

  13. “When was the last time an NFL player was held out a month due to a concussion? Answer= Never.” Wrong. Brian Hoyer was on IR for a concussion for the entire season this year since week 4 game against the Packers when Zappe replaced him. The reason? In 2015 Hoyer had 2 concussions in one month- including symptoms of memory loss. Recovering from multiple concussions isn’t something minor and it’s not just optics that Brian Hoyer was on IR all year for his concussion- no one noticed or cared anyways compared to Tua’s concussion situation. At this point I’d doubt Hoyer will play again after his three recorded concussions in his 14 year career. Tua had three in 1 year. He’s playing with fire coming back.

  14. I love Tua the person and think that he is a great human being and citizen…but, he just isn’t blessed with the body type that will hold up to the pounding of the NFL. He’s a warrior and is making a lot of bank playing a kid’s game, but the NFL is first and foremost a business and regardless of how much he loves playing the game, the reality on the business side will eventually get the most consideration. I think it is time for him to face the reality that his long term health should take priority over his love for playing this game. I came to that conclusion when I was about 17 and realized that I didn’t have the talent to make it to the NFL- Tua should come to the same assessment about his own body and it’s ability to take what is required to be a long term player.

  15. “The issue isn’t his ability when playing” I’d say that’s part of it too. An offense isn’t purely individual- it’s a sum of all of its parts. QBs rely on coaching, receivers, OL to elevate his own gameplay. Compare Tom Brady’s last year with the Patriots throwing to Nkeal Harry- 88 QB rating. First year on Bucs with Evans and Godwin- 102.2 QB rating. Or Carson Wentz having a 102 QB rating in Philadelphia when it was all clicking and being considered for MVP. Tua has one of the most envious QB situations in the league. Most plays Tua just has to have 3 reads- Hill, Waddle, checkdown. That’s why Hill and Waddle combined for 3066 yards. Who is the next highest? 417 yards. It takes the mental aspect out of the game which is what a lot of QBs struggle with the most when the offense is primarily a 2 read offense. That doesn’t mean Skyler Thompson is going to run it to the same level, but while Tua is a good enough QB to have success on this Dolphins team talent wise, his talent doesn’t elevate this offense, the receiving talent and simple scheme is what elevates it.

  16. As a Buffalo fan I like Tua & but glad he’s not playing for us because his size & injury history prior to these concussions. Now with a concussion concern it’s hard to believe Miami extends his contract other than picking up the 5th year option.
    I could see them justifying that if they plan to overhaul the entire OL to protect him. And IMHO & sure many Fin fans feel there are too many needs on Miami’s Defense to justify doing that.

  17. He needs stronger neck muscles and an awareness to tuck his chin and not bobble-head.His head gains speed as it hits the ground.

  18. Everyone seems to be forgetting that this entire situation is complicated by Miami’s handling of his initial concussion – which they called a “back injury”. The team did him dirty, he should’ve been taken out of the game.

    Everyone wants to say Tua is more susceptible to concussions, but the truth is that those waters were muddied when he was allowed to continue playing with an obvious head injury. We’ll never know how the rest of his season would’ve gone if they’d handled that first incident properly.

    And Miami needs to improve its O-line.

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