Why Dolphins fans still hear about other quarterbacks over Tua Tagovailoa
By Brian Miller
Tua Tagovailoa is the Miami Dolphins quarterback until he is not but that hasn’t stopped the Dolphins executives from exploring other options.
In 2021, the Miami Dolphins were all in on Deshaun Watson but legal troubles and uncertainty derailed that pursuit. In 2019, Miami opted to stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick rather than Brian Flores bend the knee to Tom Brady on a yacht.
The pursuit of Brady didn’t go away and the Dolphins apparently were trying again this year until Flores once again threw a wrench into the machine. While the Dolphins were not back into the Watson trade talk as the league new year began, they have not been that far from the conversations about Teddy Bridgewater taking over by mid-season or Tua being replaced completely in 2023.
The question many have been asking is why are the Dolphins so sold on replacing Tagovailoa? For starters, look towards Stephen Ross first and foremost.
Ross bought the Dolphins ahead of the 2008 season and by the end of January 2009 he bought the rest of Wayne Huizenga’s shares giving him 95% ownership.
Since 2008, Ross has never had a team with a top-quality quarterback. He has cycled through head coaches and has overseen a team that consistently went through general managers as well and internal power struggles. Through all of that, Ross has not experienced a playoff win. In fact, he has experienced only two playoff games.
So what does this have to do with Tom Brady, Deshaun Watson, and Tua Tagovailoa? It comes down to winning. Stephen Ross is 81 years old and his legacy as an NFL owner is a logo change that many fans don’t like.
The problem with Tua is that he didn’t become immediately successful, like Justin Herbert. He wasn’t the Rookie of the Year and he didn’t lead his team to the Super Bowl in year two. Ross is growing impatient. No, he already is. He wants to win at all costs.
Tampering? Yes, Ross wants to win. Tanking? Yes, if losing would have brought him Joe Burrow. Spending money like water? Absolutely. Trade for a player that has legal troubles? Apparently not.
Ross drew the line on Watson not because of the legal issues as much as the thought of money and draft capital being tossed out the window should Watson not play again. It was a bet he wasn’t willing to make when it was time to show his cards.
How many more years Ross has as the team’s owner isn’t clear. The NFL could see fit to usher him out the door. Take away the money, draft picks, or more but at the core, Ross wants to win at all costs. He knows his window is closing and he knows his legacy will not be one that will be remembered fondly. When it comes to the Dolphins, the only thing Ross knows is the quarterback. He watches the ball just like most fans. Tua isn’t a bad QB he just isn’t a great QB, not yet and there are real concerns that he may never be.
Can Ross wait it out is not the question, will he, however, is. As long as the Dolphins are not making the post-season, the quarterback position will be under the microscope. As long as Tua isn’t doing enough to change the opinions of his detractors, then there will always be a chance that change will happen.