Should the Miami Dolphins draft a QB and avoid a potential Ryan Tannehill repeat?

Regardless of what happens on Sunday, the final regular season game for this season, the Miami Dolphins should be thinking about the future and that includes looking at quarterback in this upcoming NFL draft.
Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens
Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The Miami Dolphins are in the playoffs for the 2nd year in a row but should QB be a focus in the NFL Draft given Tua Tagovailoa's future?

Ryan Tannehill was selected 8th overall in the 2012 NFL draft.  The highest draft selection made by the Miami Dolphins on a quarterback since Bob Griese.  This was a player who was deemed a prospect that would allow the Dolphins to stop the quarterback carousel they have had since Dan Marino retired.   The hype was justified.  His former collegiate head coach, was also the Miami Dolphins new Offensive Coordinator.  The way Tannehill played justified his 8th overall selection during his time at Texas A&M, thereby leading to hope.  Hope for the Miami Dolphins fans.

Tannehill's tenure with the Dolphins was met with a lot of ups and downs.  He played well enough to earn a second contract, where the Dolphins in 2015 re-signed him to a 6 year, 96 Million dollar contract.   Which at that time was substantial.  A large commitment to a player with a large history of injury concerns.

Ryan Tannehill
Jacksonville Jaguars v Miami Dolphins / Mark Brown/GettyImages

The Dolphins, after signing Tannehill to that contract, never saw him play a full season nor play in a playoff game.  This eventually led to him being traded to the Titans for a bag of footballs.  Basically, a salary clearing trade that was best for both teams.

Where am I going with all of this - history tends to repeat itself with the Miami Dolphins.   Fast forward to the present and the Dolphins have a decision to make about Tua Tagovailoa.  Yes, the Dolphins picked up Tua's 5th-year option, which will ensure that he will start the 2024, and 2025 seasons, but should they look to re-sign him to a lucrative deal, knowing the injury concerns assigned to Tua?

You need to also take into consideration the Miami Dolphins cap situation.  Remember, this offseason, Connor Williams, Chris Wilkins, Robert Hunt and Andrew Van Ginkel are all unrestricted free agents.

Then, Jaylen Waddle, Jealan Phillips, and Jevon Holland are all looking for contract extensions, with the latter being an unrestricted free agent.

Lastly, it’s not like the Miami Dolphins have a plethora of cap space,  they are actually forecasted to be 41MM over the cap.  This means a lot of restructures, cuts, trades, and potentially deferring to future years, which doesn’t fix the cap, just punts it to another year. 

Do the Dolphins really want to add a 40 to 50 million cap hit on a starting quarterback with injury concerns? Or should they look to foster a team that is built to win.   

The Dolphins can achieve this by drafting a quarterback with their 1st round pick in this year's upcoming draft.  If Tua leads the Dolphins to an AFC championship game or even the Super Bowl, then yes, this becomes a moot point.  But what happens if it is a one and done playoff experience?

Getting a young QB prospect that is cap friendly for the next four to five seasons, and a team that is built to win is a strategy that has paid off.  Having Tua around next year to mentor, groom, and teach a prospect is another advantage for the development of the prospect. 

Caleb Williams
UCLA v USC / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

Who can they look to target - Caleb Williams is the cream of the crop and a player with a laser arm, and no injury concerns, but let’s be realistic.  He’s going top 3.  The Dolphins potentially look to create a trade-up scenario similar to how the Bills got Josh Allen, or how the Chiefs obtained Patrick Mahomes.  

The opportunity will present itself, the Dolphins would be wise to consider a move of this magnitude.  Or, they can look to repeat history.  Resign Tua, just like they did Tannehill and hope they don’t trade him 5 years from now.