The Miami Dolphins front office has some interesting decisions on its hands in the coming years. How to handle quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is one of them. He’s in just his second NFL season, but some are already calling for the Dolphins to make a move. Pro Football Hall of Famer Cris Carter is leading the charge.
Carter gave his thoughts on Tagovailoa and why he may not be the answer in Miami.
Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa’s career has been a roller coaster
The Miami Dolphins selected Tua Tagovailoa out of Alabama with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. General manager Chris Grier has to be kicking himself because Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert went one pick later.
Tagovailoa’s rookie season was a bit of a roller coaster. The team clearly mishandled the quarterback situation. It randomly decided to bench Ryan Fitzpatrick in favor of the rookie, even though the veteran played well. Brian Flores also pulled Tagovailoa out of multiple games because the moment appeared to be too big for him.
The head-scratching approach didn’t negatively affect the team too much as the Dolphins finished at 10-6 and narrowly missed the playoffs.
Could the Alabama product take the next step in year two? Tagovailoa looked average in the team’s season opener, then got hurt in Week 2. He finally returned to action in Week 6 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. While he didn’t play poorly, he wasn’t good enough to beat the previously winless Jags.
Miami fans are waiting on the moment that says Tua Tagovailoa is worth the draft capital the team spent on him. It hasn’t happened yet.
Cris Carter doesn’t believe in Tagovailoa
Tua Tagovailoa is only in his second season in the NFL. He’s started just 12 games. There’s room for improvement and growth. However, the Dolphins entered 2021 coming off a 10-win season. They had to be in win-now mode.
The product on the field hasn’t matched the team’s aspirations. The once-opportunistic Dolphins defense now looks pedestrian. The offense ranks near the bottom of the league as well.
Although Tagovailoa is in his first full season as the starter, former Minnesota Vikings All-Pro wideout Cris Carter is tired of waiting. He spoke on Miami’s quarterback situation on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football.
“I like Tua. He’s a nice guy,” said Carter. “But, he can’t be my quarterback moving forward. I gotta be able to make the trade. I got the picks, and I’m gonna get me a guy.”
Carter added that he believes Miami should trade Tua Tagovailoa before the Nov. 2 trade deadline.
What options do the Dolphins have?
Cris Carter doesn’t believe the Dolphins should trade for just anybody. He suggests they go after Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Rumors have swirled over the past few months about a potential trade, but the teams haven’t made any concrete progress on the matter.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross would reportedly welcome Watson with open arms. Still, Texans general manager Nick Caserio doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to move the 26-year-old signal-caller.
Houston is not budging on its asking price, but Watson’s off-the-field issues have to play a factor as well. If Miami is trying to win now, it may strongly consider the move even though it would be a risky one. However, with a 1-5 record, the team’s 2021 season is already in jeopardy.
Tagovailoa’s rookie contract doesn’t end until after the 2023 season, and the Dolphins have a team option. It looks like the team will stay the course for now, but it must see more from its young quarterback before it commits long-term.
The potential is undoubtedly there. But if Tagovailoa doesn’t take the next step, Miami could be looking at a situation where it drafts or trades for his replacement.