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Chris Simms has warning for Dolphins about Tua Tagovailoa contract

Tua Tagovailoa celebrates a play

Jan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) reacts after running with the football for a first down against the New England Patriots during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

NFL analyst Chris Simms thinks the Miami Dolphins need to avoid making one big mistake as they consider Tua Tagovailoa’s next contract.

In an episode of “Pro Football Talk” this week, Simms said he had one big concern about how Dolphins general manager Chris Grier might handle Tagovailoa’s contract negotiations. Simms suggested that Grier might tie himself too tightly to Tagovailoa because of how closely linked their futures are, and that the Dolphins general manager needs to avoid negotiating against himself.

“What are they going to pay him? Just like I would say to the Cowboys, or what I’d say with the Giants last year: who are you negotiating against? What’s the number? Don’t just throw a number out there because you think you need to throw that number out there. Like last year with Daniel Jones — why $40 million a year? You could have gave him $34 (million), and tell me some other team that would give you $34 or $32. Show us that team. Oh, crickets? That’s right.

“You could do the same thing with Tua. But these teams negotiate against themselves right now with certain situations and go, ‘Here’s this — no, we’ll give you more.’ It makes no sense and I feel like the Dolphins are going to do that with Tua,” Simms said.

It should be noted that Simms is a longtime critic of Tagovailoa. It is no surprise that Simms would be skeptical of the quarterback’s long-term value.

On the other hand, Simms may have a point about the Dolphins negotiating against themselves. That said, Tagovailoa would probably garner more interest from other teams than Giants quarterback Daniel Jones would have last year, which Simms leaned on in his example.

Tagovailoa is entering the final year of his rookie deal, and the team appears eager to lock him down long-term. He is coming off a very good year statistically, which saw him throw for 4,624 yards and 29 touchdowns to go with 14 interceptions. However, there are still lingering doubts in some circles about whether Tagovailoa can be a true franchise quarterback.

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