Miami Dolphins: The Tua Tagovailoa “Backup Plan”
The excuses are over for Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins.
In his first season, we blamed the lack of offensive weapons and the in-game benchings in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick. In year two, it was mysterious injury reports and weekly Deshaun Watson rumors that derailed what could have been a promising campaign.
Whatever the problem was, we can all agree that life hasn’t been easy for Tua. His progress and development were undoubtedly stunted by former head coach Brian Flores, who never fully embraced Tagovailoa as the franchise QB. But there is a new regime in town, and Mike McDaniel has brought some toys along with him. In what has been the most exciting off season in recent memory, the Miami Dolphins have added some serious firepower around the now-third year quarterback.
Not only will he get to build on his chemistry with Jaylen Waddle, but six-time Pro Bowl wideout Tyreke Hill now joins the mix, creating possibly the fastest receiver duo of all time. The offensive line that was historically terrible last year has been given a serious face lift, and the running back acquisitions make the Dolphins offense a true dual threat. Throw in guys like Mike Gesicki, DeVante Parker, and Cedrick Wilson, and you could see opposing defenses scrambling for their lives in 2022.
Tua Tagovailoa has the keys to a high-powered Miami Dolphins offense. But what if he fails? Don’t worry. There’s a backup plan.
A coach that believes in him? Check.
It is time to put up or shut up for Tagovailoa. The butt of noodle arm jokes and 10-yard memes, Tua has now been given every opportunity to succeed. Those of us who believe in him know what he is capable of, as we have seen glimpses of what he can do with an open offense and more than a second and a half to throw the ball. Now, both of those things will be readily available, and it is his time to shine.
But what if he doesn’t? What if (knock on wood) Cowherd and Simms and company are right? What if Tua Tagovailoa is not the franchise quarterback of the Miami Dolphins?
Don’t worry. The front office might have a trick up their sleeve.
Much has been made about the Laremy Tunsil trade, and rightfully so. You know the story by now: draft prospect rips bong, he drops to the Dolphins, who eventually trade him for a trove of draft picks that Miami’s front office keeps flipping for assets. It’s a beautiful tale, really.
There are graphics popping up left and right that show the official haul, and they should bring a smile to fans of Miami Dolphins fans everywhere. But on top of all of those pretty, shiny new toys is perhaps the most important piece of it all: a 2023 first round pick from the San Francisco 49ers.
Why so important, you ask? It is the Tua Tagovailoa Backup Plan.
The Dolphins were able to acquire Tyreke Hill by giving up just one late-first round pick, leaving them selection-less for the first 100+ picks of the upcoming draft. The trade-off is that they will now have two first round picks in 2023, San Francisco’s and their own.
There is even a cherry on top. The Draft Class of 2023 promises to be rich with quarterback prospects, with some outlets having early mocks that feature QBs taken with the first three picks. Miami has the assets to be able to dangle multiple first round picks in order to move up the draft board, an offer that a team with an established signal caller may not be able to pass up.
They could also go after a veteran. We will have to wait and see which quarterbacks become available after the coming season, but if player movement is as abundant then as it has been lately, then there could be some solid options on the market.
But things could work out for Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins. They could meet expectations and become one of the most explosive offenses in the league, and the team can use those two 2023 first rounders to bolster the defense or offensive line.
If it doesn’t work out, we have a plan.