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    Podcast: The Miami Dolphins’ Crippling Consequences of Not Extending Tua Tagovailoa

    The Miami Dolphins have so far held the line in contract talks with Tua Tagovailoa's agent. But they must know their leverage is fleeting.

    This is the summer of B+ quarterbacks getting big-money extensions, and while Miami Dolphins fans might not love Tua Tagovailoa getting lumped in that group, it’s where he belongs. Tagovailoa — like the rest of those B+ QBs — is looking for A-student money because of market forces.

    Simply put, there are more teams than there are quarterbacks who can consistently get their teams to the playoffs. And Tagovailoa is probably in that small fraternity. Only eight teams have won more games than Miami (39) since the Dolphins drafted Tua fifth overall in 2020.

    So while some Tua fans and almost all of his critics want the Dolphins to hold a very firm line on the protracted Tagovailoa contract negotiations, the truth is he has growing leverage.

    Miami Dolphins’ Incentive To Get Tua Tagovailoa Contract Done

    Why? The Dolphins simply do not have many good options if a deal doesn’t get done. We discuss that in detail in our final pre-training camp PFN Miami Dolphins Podcast.

    If the Dolphins don’t extend Tua, their options would be to either let him walk (and get just a third-round compensatory pick in return) or apply the franchise tag (with a one-year estimated cost of $42.2 million).

    Should they choose door No. 2, the Dolphins have three options: tag and trade, finally agree to a long-term deal, or force Tagovailoa to play under the tag.

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    Tagging Tagovailoa and forcing him to play under it would create massive headaches beyond the rift it could open between the team and its most important player.

    Miami is already roughly $10 million over the estimated $273 million 2025 cap, which is a wild place to be considering Skylar Thompson and Gavin Hardison are the only quarterbacks currently under contract beyond this year.

    Tagging Tua would cripple the Dolphins and all but guarantee Tyreek Hill is gone after this season. They would also need to cut, trade, or engage in some fiscal gymnastics with the other massive contracts on their books.

    But letting Tua walk will create all kinds of other issues. Does Stephen Ross, who turned 84 in May, want another rebuild? The 2025 NFL Draft class is terrible, and the free agent class will ultimately be just as bad. The trade market doesn’t have much after Kirk Cousins, either.

    Thus, extending Tagovailoa is probably the best of Miami’s imperfect options. Will it get done in time for training camp? We discuss.

    Listen to the PFN Dolphins Podcast

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