Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa Makes Important Symbolic Decision

Miami Dolphins players -- including QB Tua Tagovailoa -- are back at team HQ this week for the start of the team's offseason program.

Sunrise in South Florida was 6:56 a.m. Monday, and it looks like Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa beat the sun to work.

The Dolphins’ social media team shared video of Tagovailoa strolling into team HQ right around daybreak for the start of the team’s voluntary offseason program.

The significance? Tagovailoa, as promised, is not boycotting the optional two-month program, even though he has yet to get the long-term extension he wants.

Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa Contract Update

“Good morning, good morning,” said Tagovailoa to the team’s camera crew as he walked in the front door of the team’s training facility. “Yup, like we never left.”

Tagovailoa’s decision to report signals that the vibes are still good three months into an offseason that he hopes will feature him signing a lucrative long-term deal.

He’s in the final year of his rookie contract, scheduled to make $23.2 million on Miami’s fifth-year option.

But despite that uncertainty, Tagovailoa’s relationship with the organization has seemingly been better. Mike McDaniel and several members of his coaching staff attended Tua’s charity luau last week, where Tagovailoa told reporters he planned on participating in this spring’s voluntary practices.

“This definitely feels like home to me,” Tagovailoa added. “I’ve said this before, but this is where both of my kids, you know, were, were born. This is where we’re going to raise our family, with me and [wife] Annah.

“This is the city that chose me to be their quarterback. And I’m very grateful I’m very honored for that. I don’t take any of that lightly. And so, you know, I definitely call this home.”

The Dolphins and Tagovailoa both have been publicly optimistic about getting a deal done this offseason, but if he wants record-breaking money, this process could drag out. Spotrac’s market valuation of Tagovailoa — $50.4 million — would make him the fifth-highest player in the NFL.

Factoring in both his résumé (which includes a Pro Bowl appearance but also his extensive injury history) and the record-breaking salary cap in 2024, that’s probably a fair figure.

“I do expect Tua to be in OTAs only because my working relationship with Tua,” McDaniel said at last month’s NFL Annual League Meeting. “For two years, I’ve watched Tua gain some unbelievable residuals towards the season in that process. It’s part of the reason Tua is who he is because he’s always learning, never staying the same and always working on his craft.

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“I know the one thing that he likes to do now in his life, besides be a kick-ass dad to Ace and Mazey, is play football with his teammates. That’s what I expect. I don’t really put too much thought beyond that. I understand the business, but I also understand my job with Tua is to make sure that his football is continuing to evolve and the best days are in front of him, which are both of our goals.”

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