When Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel spoke to reporters at the Scouting Combine on Tuesday, he said the team will take its time before making a decision on exercising quarterback Tua Tagovailoa‘s contract option for the 2024 season.
Whether the Dolphins pull that lever or not, they’ll also have to make a decision about whether to work toward a long-term deal with the 2020 first-round pick. Tagovailoa has missed time with injuries in college and during his first three seasons in the NFL, including the concussion issues that ended his 2022 season, but General Manager Chris Grier said on Wednesday that any concerns the team has about his injury history will not keep them from pursuing a long-term extension.
“I mean, I can’t lie and say no, but it’s not something that it’s gonna make us afraid to do something long term at all,” Grier said, via Alain Poupart of SI.com. “The one thing he’s had he’s been banged up but he always comes back and bounces back and plays hard and performs. Excited for his future. Excited for watching him doing all the work he’s been doing in the offseason here right now to prepare for 2023 and he’s very excited to get back on the field with his teammates.”
If the Dolphins don’t exercise Tagovailoa’s $23 million option, his future in Miami will be a significant issue all season and, regardless of what Grier says now, more missed time will make a major contractual investment seem like a massive risk. If they do pick up the option, Tagovailoa will have a little more time to show the Dolphins that he’s the right guy for them to build around beyond 2024.