Miami Dolphins off-season preview: What to expect at quarterback

Tua Tagovailoa is the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins but the position could still use an upgrade.
Jan 13, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) runs the
Jan 13, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) runs the / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins will not enter the 2024 offseason looking to upgrade the quarterback position but they shouldn't rule it out either.

Tua Tagovailoa is the starter heading into 2024 and that shouldn't change. When the NFL new year begins on March 13th, the Dolphins will not have a big decision to make regarding who will start for them this year. The biggest questions that need to be answered all surround money.

Tua Tagovailoa: Tua's contract situation will be the big discussion between now and the start of free agency and it could carry beyond the start of free agency in March. Ideally, the Dolphins will have an internal decision on Tua made sooner rather than later.

The reality of this situation comes down to two questions. One, are the Miami Dolphins confident enough in Tua Tagovailoa to pay him somewhere near $200 million over five seasons on a new extension, or do they have a cap in mind that they will not go over. The 2nd question is do the Dolphins internally believe that he is the answer without questions? If Miami answers the last question with a "no" or a "maybe" they need to wait another year to pay him.

Miami can afford to wait until 2025 and while they may end up paying a few million dollars more by waiting, their peace of mind might be better answered with another season to justify the spending.

While Tua's financial situation will the be the talk of the early start to the season, he isn't the only QB that should be discussed.

Do the Miami Dolphins need to replace quarterback Mike White or does it matter at all?

Sep 10, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Mike White (14) warms up for
Sep 10, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Mike White (14) warms up for / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Mike White was signed to a two-year contract last off-season and he barely touched the field in 2023 which is exactly what the Dolphins were hoping for. When he was in, he looked a little lost and wasn't very crisp sans the game against the Broncos.

White is still learning the Dolphins system and another year will provide him far more value to the team should they need him. The biggest issue with White, however, is money.

The current contract for White will count $5.2 million against the cap and releasing him would save the Dolphins $3.5 million. It's a relatively small amount of money in the overall situation with Miami's finances but what at what point do the Dolphins look at Skylar Thompson as the backup quarterback?

Skylar Thompson should be penciled in as the number two QB entering his third NFL season. If he is not, why keep him around?

Skylar Thompson
Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The Dolphins learned the value of having three QBs on the roster two seasons ago when Tua spent most of his season on IR. Last year, they didn't need a 3rd QB but NFL rule changes that allowed teams to dress a 3rd QB without taking up a gameday roster spot allow that now.

Miami doesn't need to penny-pinch with Mike White but you do have to wonder if White is anything more than a rental at this point. The chances of him coming back to Miami after the season doesn't seem to be realistic given the fact White would presumably want at least a shot at starting somewhere, or at the very least a quasi-competition in training camp.

In Miami, White is competing for the 2nd team QB job and that is the offseason discussion that will take place amongst fans but internally, I think the Dolphins stick with their current stable of QBs to start the new year.

The NFL Draft: The Dolphins are limited in terms of draft capital this year. They will not have 3rd or 4th round selections this year but will still have holes to fill on the roster. I don't anticipate the Dolphins using any draft pick, even a 7th round selection on a quarterback.

The Dolphins will, however, add another QB to the roster after the draft for offseason work through mini camps and OTAs and will carry four QBs into training camp come late July. Who that player will be is anyone's guess but they would enter the team as a longshot to make even the practice squad.