Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s name has been in heavy rotation as it pertains to the trade deadline.
The second-year signal caller has for some strange reason been labeled an injury-prone bust if you listen to the pundits on daily talk radio or television.
But that’s far from the truth. With a COVID-restrictive rookie season and just 13 starts, Tagovailoa is still 7-6 including a solid 6-3 last season.
He’s tossed 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions in those 13 starts. That stat line doesn’t read bust, it reads solid, and if they can add some real help for the young signal caller, just maybe he can be even more.
Tua Thrown In Even With Fitzpatrick Playing Well:
Ever since drafting Tua with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft the Dolphins have seemed lukewarm on the talented lefty dual threat from Alabama. They chose to start journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick (64-98-1) to begin the 2020 season, and that was smart, considering there was no preseason and very little training or mini-camp time to get Tua up to speed.
The team wanted to find their next quarterback, and even after two straight wins and the offense really clicking under Fitz, he was removed as the starter and Tua was inserted.
Head coach Brian Flores felt it was time to cash in on their investment. The move was a complete shock at the time — to Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey and Fitpatrick himself.
Miami has caught some flak for drafting Tua over Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, who has excelled as the aerial leader of an explosive Chargers offense.
Just two weeks prior to handing Tua the starting position, Flores was asked by ESPN if Tua was ready to be the starter. He had little confidence in his supposed franchise quarterback.
“As far as Tua being a starter, we just don’t feel like he’s there just yet. Right now we feel like Fitz gives us the best chance to win.”
Dolphins Miss Playoffs By One Game:
Usually finishing 10-6 is enough to get a wild card in the NFL playoff race, but last year 11 wins were needed as the Fins missed the postseason by one game. That record was due in large part to a stout defense and solid play from Tua and Fitzpatrick before he was inexplicably benched.
2021 Season Brings Trade Rumors:
The 2021 season started with trade rumors of Deshaun Watson being trade for Tua. The grass is always greener on the other side, and after anointing Tua the savior an eye blink ago, now the city of Miami is clamoring for embattled quarterback Deshaun Watson, who’s still facing 22 allegations of sexual misconduct.
Watson is being held out of games by the Houston Texans amidst the hubbub, but as we get closer to the NFL trade deadline those same rumors persist.
Reputable TV reporters have called Watson to Miami a “done deal.” There were even some who had Watson headed to Miami and Tua headed to the QB-needy Washington Football Team.
The Dolphins have been saying all the right things, but if they can get a guy like Watson there’s no way they don’t pull the trigger.
Trade talks and rumors have clouded one important aspect of this situation. Tua has put together some solid performances and seems to be improving, but the Dolphins aren’t very good, as evidenced by their 1-6 record.
The record tells us that there’s a lot wrong with the Fins beyond the quarterback play of a second-year starter.
On Wednesday, Tagovailoa and Flores had a sit-down, and Tua said he came away confident in his position as the team’s quarterback going forward.
Flores basically backed Tua up in an uncomfortable press conference on Friday.
With the Nov. 2 trade deadline fast approaching, Tua remains calm and confident, telling the Sun Sentinel’s David Furones, “I’m not even worried about that. I don’t even know when the trade deadline is.”
“I don’t not feel wanted.”
Let’s see if he still feels this way Tuesday at 4 p.m. Until then anything can happen. Sometimes a fresh start is the best start.