Is Tua Tagovailoa in the Miami Dolphins’ plans following the Brian Flores firing?

Will Tua be back? Will Chris Grier target Deshaun Watson? Many questions abound at quarterback after the Miami Dolphins fired Brian Flores.

Following the Brian Flores firing, everything is up in the air now in Miami. If Flores had remained as Miami Dolphins head coach, Tua Tagovailoa almost certainly would not have stayed at quarterback. Their relationship had grown strained, to put it kindly, and Flores by his actions demonstrated time and again that he did not trust the 2020 NFL Draft’s No. 5 overall pick.

With that, the Dolphins will immediately begin their open search for the 11th non-interim head coach in franchise history. We don’t know who will be on their wish list to replace Brian Flores, but we know who will not: Jim Harbaugh. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross on Monday ruled out the possibility of luring Harbaugh from Michigan, Ross’ alma mater.

Is quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the Dolphins’ plans?

Flores’ assessment of Tua apparently wasn’t shared by everyone in the organization — most notably, the guy who signs the checks.

Ross, addressing reporters Monday after firing his third coach since late 2015, threw his support behind Tua but stopped short of committing to Tua as his starter in 2022.

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When asked what role the quarterback position played in his decision to fire Flores, Ross replied:

“First of all, let me be clear, it played no role in it at all. I have a lot of confidence in Tua and I think you know, the next head coach will work with him or whoever else. But I have a lot of confidence in him. I watched him grow. He’s a fine young man, and he is our quarterback. [The decision will be] dependent upon the new head coach, but I have a lot of confidence in Tua.”

Deshaun Watson to Miami less likely than before

A reason the marriage between Flo and Tua went south was the team’s consistent pursuit of Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. It had a corrosive impact on Tua’s confidence and standing within the team. But a big factor in Watson’s desire to come to Miami was having Flores as his coach. Now that he’s gone, it’s unclear what, if any, interest he will have in green-lighting a trade to Miami.

Could Miami target a different signal-caller?

What’s more? We hear that even before firing Flores, the Dolphins’ offseason plan at quarterback wasn’t going to be Watson-or-bust. We expect them to keep their options open, although a trade for Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson seems quite unlikely at this point.

Perhaps they draft one in the first round (they don’t have their own pick, but they do own San Francisco’s first-rounder). Maybe they try to acquire someone like Ravens backup Tyler Huntley, who was solid but a bit error-prone in relief of Lamar Jackson.

When asked Monday if he planned to pursue Watson this offseason, Ross replied:

“I have no plans. It will be up to the head coach in terms of what he does with the quarterback. As I said before, I have a lot of confidence in Tua, but it’s really going to be dependent on the next head coach … and the direction that he wants to take at that position.”

Adam Beasley is the National NFL Analyst and Insider for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Adam’s work here and give him a follow on Twitter @AdamHBeasley.


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