Chris Grier is fully dropping the ball with Tua Tagovailoa-Dolphins negotiations

The Dolphins GM is making a massive mistake here.
Atlanta Falcons v Miami Dolphins
Atlanta Falcons v Miami Dolphins / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier is playing with Stephen Ross' money. He is also putting his entire franchise at risk of sliding back into the bowels of the AFC East. We can debate the merits of a Tua Tagovailoa extension all we want, but the Dolphins can't afford to go back to the drawing board to find someone to lead the franchise.

If Grier and the Dolphins don't think Tagovailoa is worth the amount of money he is asking for, they need to ask themselves why. If they think he isn't a top QB in the NFL, then they should play him in 2024 and then move on. If they think he is capable, then there is no reason for them not to pay what he wants - and extra $5 million is nothing in the NFL these days.

Tua Tagovailoa should be paid the current market value

When Trevor Lawerence was given Joe Burrow money, the bar for Tagovailoa was raised. It doesn't matter if he has less yardage, fewer playoff wins, or less of anything in comparison. The reality is that Grier waited, and the market was reset.

Had he got a new deal done last year, he would be paying a lot less now. Had he done a deal shortly after Jared Goff was extended, the Jaguars would have looked more like fools. Instead, Grier waiting so long has cost him and it has complicated contract talks.

The Dolphins technically can franchise tag Tagovailoa ahead of the 2025 season, but there'd be worry if he becomes a camp holdout or not. The Dolphins could try and replace him, but let's be real for a moment. Like him or love him, Tagovailoa is dynamic and fits the Mike McDaniel scheme.

Waiting until next season won't help either side of the negotiations. If he plays as good or better than last year, it will cost Grier and Ross a lot more money. If he fails miserably, gets hurt, or suffers another concussion, the Dolphins are back to square one without a quarterback. The Dolphins need to commit here.

Tagovailoa may not be the best quarterback in Dolphins history, but he is the best quarterback they have had since Dan Marino left, and if anyone thinks the options for Miami are better via trade or the free agent market, they haven't spent a lot of time pouring over the players available. The Dolphins can't draft well enough to think they can pour themselves into some blockbuster trade to move up in the draft to get a top QB prospect and any QB on the market will want to get paid like a franchise QB. Tagovailoa may not be perfect, but he is perfectly fine with what Miami needs right now.

The Dolphins playing hardball with Tua Tagovailoa is a mistake

Grier needs to pick his battles better. I get that he may not want to overpay for a QB who has a concussion history and has only one full season under his belt after being in the league for three previous years, but at the same time, Grier is playing a game that he can't win. He threw money to Byron Jones and Xavien Howard and he has given horrible contracts to guys like Terron Armstead, while allowing players like Christian Wilkins and Robert Hunt leave.

Tagovailoa can sit it out if he wants to and Grier can do nothing about it. Why? Because Grier doesn't have a backup plan and his QB knows it. The Dolphins are only going to go as far as Tagovailoa will take them and if he isn't on the field, Grier has a lot of decisions to make moving forward.