MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa doesn’t strike us as the jealous type.
But you can forgive him if he looked at what his 2020 NFL Draft classmate, Justin Herbert, got from the Los Angeles Chargers Tuesday and had at least a twinge of envy.
Instead — during a conversation with reporters following practice here Wednesday — Tua saw the five-year, $262.5 million record-breaker as a rising-tides-lift-all-ships situation.
Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa Reacts to Justin Herbert Contract
“Big, big,” Tagovailoa said of Herbert’s megadeal. “First off, congrats to him and congrats to Jalen [Hurts] as well, earlier on his contract.
“Yeah, I think it’s really good for the quarterback market. That’s what I would say. It’s really good for the quarterback market. You know, it gets me excited, gets me going, but, you know, at the same time, they got what they deserve, and I’m happy for them.”
The Dolphins have Tagovailoa’s rights for at least the next two seasons (not including the possibility of the franchise tag). He is set to earn just $1 million in base salary this year but $23.2 million next under the fifth-year option.
As was the case with Herbert, Tagovailoa has been eligible for an extension since the league year turned over in March. But it doesn’t seem like one is close — or even on Miami’s radar at this point.
“I haven’t talked about any contracts since what I’ve understood with my fifth-year extension,” Tua said. “So I don’t think that’s a worry of mine. When, when things come, they’ll come because you either deserved it or it’s supposed to happen now.”
The Dolphins, for a number of reasons, are wise to take a slow approach with any such talk. Tagovailoa was fantastic last year, but they might want to see him perform at that level for another season before making a massive commitment.
They also likely want to see him stay healthy. Tagovailoa missed five games, including the team’s playoff loss to the Bills, after suffering a series of concussions.
When asked Wednesday if it might be best for all involved to table conversations until 2024, Tua replied:
“If they wanted to do it now, if they wanted to wait, whatever, I think for myself, I’m always the person that wants to prove to myself that I deserve whatever I get,” Tua said. “And so, you know, for me, I feel like this is something that I need to work for. It’s plain and simple as that.”
Tagovailoa’s market value for a new deal, per Spotrac, is $270.5 million over six years. The $45 million AAV would rank seventh among both quarterbacks and all NFL players.
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