It has to be said: The Miami Dolphins will regret giving Tua Tagovailoa Joe Burrow money

Tua Tagovailoa could be seeking as much as $55 million per year on a new contract extension. It will be a mistake.

Jan 13, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) moves out to
Jan 13, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) moves out to / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Tua Tagovailoa is going to be extended this offseason. The Miami Dolphins, per all the speculation and rumors, want to get it done. They will regret it.

I like Tua Tagovailoa. I'm not a "Tuanon" who believes he can do no wrong. If I were, I wouldn't be writing this. I also am not a "Tua-hater". If I were, this would be completely different. In other words, hear me out before you email me.

Tua should get extended. He should get a new contract this year and Tua should be grateful for what the Dolphins offer. I have been thinking about this. Over the weekend I had a 12-hour drive and needed something to tune my kids out, so naturally I turned to the internal debate of Tua's expected extension.

I keep coming back to the same conclusion. Tua is a good quarterback but he isn't a great one. He is capable of leading the league in yardage, he can throw more TDs than INTs, and he can even be in the league MVP discussions year in and out.

So what's the problem? Tua, for all the good he can be, will still need help, and help costs money. Money the Dolphins are going to spend on Tua's new deal.

There has been a lot of speculation that Tua is going to command at, near, or more than Joe Burrow. Sorry, I think Burrow is overpaid and he was my 2nd favorite QB of that draft. Justin Herbert, admittedly was my favorite. He is overpaid as well. Tua has done more than Herbert, plays better than Herbert, and leads more, but Tua is not worth $52.5 million per season, and neither is Herbert.

Tua should be paid around $50 million per season. He played all 17 games last season, the first time he has done so in his career at this level. If the Dolphins feel that Tua is still an injury risk, then you can believe that Tua also knows he is as well. If Tua was seriously contemplating early retirement after the 2022 season, even if only for a brief moment, then he needs to take what he can get.

Tua is always going to need to be better than good receivers and a great running game. He succeeds because of those pieces, not despite them when they are bad. Tua is a leader, off the field. On the field, he is a vocal leader to a degree but when the game is on the line...he is inconsistent. Inconsistency at critical moments does not warrant being paid the highest in the NFL or close to it.

Tyreek Hill
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

The Dolphins must be able to afford good players on both sides of the ball because without them, Tua isn't going to carry the weight of the team.

For my money, and it is not, I would pay him around $50 million a year, guarantee him around $100 million, and backload the deal the best I can. I would put a retirement clause in the deal, and I would address this again in 4 years when I have a better knowledge of what Tua is rather than an opinion on what he could be.

I do not believe the Dolphins should let him go or trade him. I think he has the potential to be great and has shown flashes of such. Just not enough to warrant a high payday.

As I thought about this, I realized the Dolphins have the leverage with Tua and not the other way around. They can force him to play on the 5th-year option that will pay him roughly $24 million this year. Tua is the one taking the risk without security, if he has concerns, he will take what the Dolphins offer and will set out to prove the Dolphins wrong.

If he leads the Dolphins deep into the playoffs, wins a Super Bowl, or becomes that elite QB that shoulders your team, then in 3 seasons, reward him and make him the highest. paid QB in the NFL. For now, do a team-friendly deal that pays him where he is at now and that is not in the Herbert/Burrow range. The Bengals and Chargers made a mistake, the Dolphins don't need to do the same.