Despite a first-round exit in the playoffs, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa believes he hasn’t fallen out of favor with the organization.
The 25-year-old is entering the final year of his rookie contract. When asked Saturday whether Miami would give him a contract extension, he said, “I believe that will happen,” via Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post.
Spotrac estimates his market value is a six-year deal worth $50.4M annually, fifth among QBs. This could be a stretch for the Dolphins.
Miami is $51.24M over the cap.
Still, the former first-round pick has flourished since Miami hired head coach Mike McDaniel in 2022. This season, Tagovailoa earned his first Pro Bowl nod, setting career highs in passing TDs (29), passing yards (4,624) and completion percentage (69.3%).
He also started 17 games for the first time in his career, mitigating durability concerns.
“My main goal this year was to play, you know, 17-plus games, and I was able to accomplish that goal,” Tagovailoa said. “And just very fortunate that I was able to do that and very happy, too.”
However, one major knock on Tagovailoa is his inability to win in cold weather. He fell to 6-14 in games under 70 degrees following a 26-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in his postseason debut.
Given the questions about his upside, multiple league executives recently told The Atheltic’s Mike Sando the Dolphins should trade Tagovailoa and sign Kirk Cousins, who could enter free agency this offseason. The 35-year-old is recovering from an Achilles tear, though, making this proposition too risky.
The Dolphins should keep Tagovailoa but wait to give him an extension since it would devour cap space. This move might motivate him, which could help Miami win its first playoff game since 2000.