Eligible for an extension this offseason, how much money would Miami be willing to throw at the QB who’s impressed in Year 3? Boardroom explores.
Before the 2022 NFL season, pundits and fans alike questioned whether or not the Dolphins’ third-year QB Tua Tagovailoa could stay healthy enough to bring respectability back to Miami. And whether he could throw far enough for the speedy and recently acquired Tyreek Hill.
Thus far, Tua has missed three games due to a concussion he sustained against the Bengals in Week 4. But otherwise, things have gone swimmingly well for the 2020 No. 5 overall pick and the Dolphins, who are undefeated (5-0) in games he’s finished.
Like Jalen Hurts and other players from the 2020 draft class, Tua becomes eligible for a contract extension this upcoming offseason — one that could see him in the same ranks as players such as Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Dak Prescott.
One telling point Tagovailoa has going for him: He’s earned the trust of his coaching staff and teammates. Not only did Hill call him the NFL’s “most accurate” QB before the season, but head coach Mike McDaniel also confirmed he’s the guy now and for the future in Miami.
Despite missing 2.5 games, Tua has the highest QBR (78.7) and rating (112.7) in the NFL, passing for 12 touchdowns (seventh in the NFL) with the third-highest completion percentage (69.9%). The southpaw out of Alabama certainly hasn’t been perfect, mostly due to his injury history, but the Dolphins are legitimate Super Bowl contenders when he’s on the field. And they aren’t shying away from it.
Let’s take a look at what his comparable market value is for a potential extension this 2023 offseason.
What is Tua’s 2023 Market Value?
Spotrac determines its own market value estimates based on a player’s age, contract status, and statistical production. It doesn’t take into account wins, awards, injuries, or playoff performance, but it’s a useful measuring stick when comparing other players’ contracts.
In Tagovailoa’s case, he might become one of the richest QBs in the league by total value at 24 years old.
Projecting the size of a Tua contract extension
- By Spotrac’s estimates, Tagovailoa’s first contract extension could be pegged at six years and $226,768,746. That would rank No. 6 in terms of total value.
- His average annual salary is projected at $37,794,791, which would rank ninth — one spot ahead of Kirk Cousins.
Comparable QBs by Value
Comparable QBs by Stats
To be clear, Tagovailoa is simply eligible for an extension following the 2022 season. It doesn’t necessarily mean the Fins will fast-track the process. They could wait until his first free agency a year later, at which point the franchise tag will very much be on the table, kicking the can down the road one more year.
Will they hesitate because of his injury history or look past that and lock him up long-term?
Miami has had some decent quarterbacks, but none that have quite moved the needle in the past 20 years. By comparison, Ryan Tannehill (2012-16) was probably its most consistent. Tua should be held in high regard given his success, the team’s trajectory, and the Dolphins’ history with QBs. It’s really just a matter of staying healthy because he’s got what it takes to be a top QB in the league.
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