The Miami Dolphins continue to show confidence in Tua Tagovailoa as their franchise quarterback. The latest example comes in the form of the fifth-year option, which the team officially picked up Monday. This means that Tagovailoa is under contract with the club through 2024 and will make $23.17 million fully guaranteed that season.
This maneuver by Miami is a clear sign that they have no intention of swinging for any of the high-priced quarterbacks that could be on the market this offseason like Lamar Jackson or possibly even luring Tom Brady out of retirement. From his play on the field this season, Tagovailoa dispelled any need for the Dolphins to consider making a switch under center as the former first-round pick enjoyed a breakout campaign under first-year head coach Mike McDaniel. However, that chatter did persist coming into this offseason due to Tagovailoa suffering numerous concussions in 2022 that sidelined him down the stretch.
Dolphins GM Chris Grier was candid earlier this offseason in saying that Tagovailoa's health is a factor when speaking of a potential extension, but added that "it's not something that is going to make us afraid to do something long term with him."
Tagovailoa was the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft after a decorated career at Alabama. He struggled to find his footing over his first two years in the league, but things clicked in Year 3 with McDaniel leading now established as the head coach. In 13 games played, he led the NFL in yards per attempt (8.9) and passer rating (105.5). The Dolphins were also 8-5 with Tagovailoa as the starter and 1-4 when he was sidelined, including their playoff loss to Buffalo on Super Wild Card Weekend.
The 24-year-old was not cleared from concussion protocol until last month, but there is confidence in his camp that he'll be healthy and ready to go with the Dolphins next season. Tagovailoa also noted during Super Bowl week that he has been taking judo classes to learn how to fall safely. Given that Miami has decided to extend themselves with this fully guaranteed fifth-year option, it appears like they are confident he'll be ready to roll for '23 as well.