Tua Tagovailoa skipping workouts sends a clear message to Dolphins GM Chris Grier

The Miami Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa are reportedly not close to a new extension.
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

In 2023, Tua Tagovailoa was named the starting quarterback in the Pro Bowl. He led the NFL in passing yards. He statistcially outplayed every Dolphins quarterback since Dan Marino in a single season. He still doesn't have an extension.

Tua's agents will bring all of that to the table. The Miami Dolphins will tell them he had two concussions a year earlier and missed time in previous seasons with injuries. The Dolphins will also tell them he hasn't won a playoff game. Chris Grier will point to the contract between Jared Goff and Jalen Hurts and say they have done more in their careers.

Rumors of contract talks have pointed to a possibly sizeable divide between the two parties. Adam Schefter said the two sides are not close. Cameron Wolfe said they would get it done. Most agree with Wolfe. A new contract will eventually get done. The question is, will those negotiations stop the workflow?

Tua has maintained that he will not hold out and plans to continue practicing with the team, but he has also said that he is leaving the negotiations and business decisions to his agent. What if his agent tells him to hold out, or tells him not to attend voluntary workouts or mandatory mini-camps? That is something that could happen. According to CBS, he is already missing some voluntary work.

Tua Tagovailoa is clearly not happy with his contract situation

We may have an answer soon as to whether or not Tua will participate. The Dolphins begin OTA work on Monday. This a voluntary session for players and could be an indication of what Tagovailoa has in mind for the long haul.

Despite Tagovailoa being under contract for the 2024 season, he will play on the fifth-year option; he holds the cards in these negotiations. A holdout will cost him money, but the Dolphins do not have a backup quarterback that can start should Tagovailoa opt to sit out until a new deal is done.

Grier plays hardball with contracts, so it shouldn't be a surprise that he is doing so now. The question is, how long will he play the game? June 1 could be the date to watch. Miami will get $18 million in additional cap space from the Xavien Howard release, but it should also be cautionary. The Dolphins don't need that money to extend Tua, in fact, doing so before June 1 would create cap space immediately, as it would lessen the cap burden for 2024.

Grier has a lot to figure out with his team. He needs to extend Jaylen Waddle, Jaelan Phillips, and Jevon Holland before next season. Waddle and Phillips will be under contract, and their fifth-year options will be picked up.

Fans may be waiting on those extensions, but the real one to watch is with Tagovailoa and the Dolphins. Miami has had a full season to consider this next deal and the fact they are far apart, reportedly, is a reason for pause, but not yet a concern.