The Miami Dolphins will soon add major money to their annual cap and they have to be smart with what is left

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

The Miami Dolphins were forced to make roster decisions that they may not have wanted to make and that may not change.

In Los Angeles, the Chargers fan base is waiting for massive drops later in the afternoon. The NFL league new year begins today at 4:00 and all teams must be cap-compliant. The Dolphins already are, the Chargers are the last team above the line.

Massive deals to players like Khalil Mack, Joey Bosa, and Keenan Allen have put the Chargers in a bad position. Decisions on those three may result in one of them, maybe more, not being there next season. The untouchable? Quarterback Justin Herbert.

Across the NFL teams are trimming rosters and salary but the QB contracts remain the same. Patrick Mahomes restructured his deal to get the Chiefs $20 million extra dollars. Daniel Jones and the Giants, well his nearly $48 million isn't helping.

This brings us to Tua Tagovailoa. If we are being honest, Tua is a 50/50 prospect. He could run into health concerns (sorry but it only takes one more bad concussion for there to be a big problem) or he could get better. The Dolphins are, of course, banking on the latter.

The rumors continue to circulate regarding his future. Many believe that after June 1st, a deal will get done. The Dolphins should wait, one more year.

The 5th year option will pay Tua nearly $25 million but it is a security blanket for the Dolphins. Tua has had one great statistical year that did nothing to quiet his detractors. Why? Because he can be inconsistent. There are still questions about his leadership. There are still questions about him winning in cold weather, against great teams, and in the playoffs. There are still questions about his 3rd reads, his ability to extend plays, and whether or not he can shoulder the offense on his own.

You don't pay $50 million per season with those questions. If you can wait, you wait and see if you can at least answer some of them.

The Dolphins are not likely going to wait. All indications point to a new deal this year. That means a four-year commitment to Tua at minimum. It means that the Dolphins will have to be smart with their free agency spending with little room for error and they have to hit on their draft picks to keep continuity in their build from year to year.

Like every team with a high-priced QB, there is risk to putting so much money into a single player but this is the new NFL and this is what is expected for even a marginal quarterback.

Free agency is showing that some teams have limitations due to their QB contracts. This is the lesson that Miami has to learn from. Freely spending on other players, like Khalil Mack better bring a championship or it is just wasted money.

The Dolphins haven't won anything more than the Chargers have. It will be interesting to see what a team like the Steelers do. They don't have the expensive QB but they still compete and Mike Tomlin still manages to win enough to get to the postseason.

In Baltimore, the Ravens do have an expensive QB and their roster shows it. They may smart football decisions with the rest of their money. They don't overreach and they draft well. This is what the Dolphins need to do. This is what will separate them from other teams.

The Dolphins will have a big contract on their books with Tua, that is, again, this era of the NFL but it is how they manage the rest of the cap and how they address it through the draft that will allow them to keep Tua surrounded by good players that will be the difference.