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#pounditThursday, January 20, 2022

Articles tagged: Tua Tagovailoa

Report: Dolphins open to starting Tua Tagovailoa in his rookie season

Tua Tagovailoa

The Miami Dolphins have the perfect bridge quarterback on their roster in Ryan Fitzpatrick, and his presence should allow them to be patient with Tua Tagovailoa. But if Tagovailoa shows he is ready for the big stage, the Dolphins are not going to force him to take a redshirt year.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was told by a source that Fitzpatrick is likely to begin the 2020 season as the Dolphins’ starter, but the team is not opposed to playing Tagovailoa at some point. Fitzpatrick was impressive last season and has earned the trust of Miami’s coaching staff, but there will obviously be pressure to give Tagovailoa a shot if Fitzpatrick struggles at all.

As Jackson notes, the shortened offseason will work against Tagovailoa. The No. 5 overall pick has only been able to take part in virtual workouts, so there’s no way he will be as prepared as a rookie quarterback would be in a normal offseason.

Tagovailoa had hip surgery just six months ago, so that could also be a factor in whether or not the Dolphins choose to give him playing time. While he appears to be fully recovered, that is another risk to consider.

Fitzpatrick has every intention of fighting for the starting job, but he has also gone out of his way to mentor Tagovailoa already. He should be a great asset for the Dolphins while they try to groom their next franchise quarterback.

Ryan Fitzpatrick not giving up starting job to Tua Tagovailoa without a fight

Ryan Fitzpatrick Dolphins

Many people view Tua Tagovailoa taking over the Miami Dolphins’ starting quarterback job as an inevitability. Ryan Fitzpatrick is doing what he can to put that likelihood on hold.

Fitzpatrick spoke with reporters on Thursday and said he wouldn’t give up the starting job without a fight.

“I’m as competitive as they come,” Fitzpatrick said, via NFL.com’s Steve Wyche. “I want to go out there and start. I know there are a lot of forces that go into it from all kinds of different sides. Whether than happens or not, who knows?”

Fitzpatrick threw for 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season, which was pretty impressive for a team that seemingly was built to lose and had few offensive weapons. He is viewed as a bridge to Tagovailoa. The combination of his experience in the system, the inability of young players to have offseason team activities, and Tua’s hip injury recovery all point to Fitzpatrick getting to open the season as Miami’s starter. From there, how long he hangs on to the job depends on how well he plays, because there is a young, first-round pick lurking whom the fans will want to see. The good news is Fitzpatrick is also acting as a great mentor to Tua as well.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has been mentoring Tua Tagovailoa via Zoom

Ryan Fitzpatrick Dolphins
Ryan Fitzpatrick will be competing for a starting job with Tua Tagovailoa this offseason, but that does not mean the veteran will be unwilling to help the former Alabama star. In fact, the mentoring has already begun.

Fitzpatrick told reporters on Thursday that he “loved watching (Tagovailoa) in college” and has already met with him via Zoom. The 37-year-old says he has been conducting video chats with Tagovailoa, Josh Rosen and Jake Rudock.

Fitzpatrick acknowledged the obvious, which is that his goal is to win the starting job heading into the season. However, he stressed the importance of quarterbacks helping one another and said he is willing to assist Tagovailoa any way he can.

The Dolphins were accused of tanking all offseason last year, but they ended up surprising the league by winning five games. Fitzpatrick was a big reason for that, as he became a steadying presence for the team and threw for 3,529 yards, 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Tagovailoa has already become wildly popular with the fans, and the Dolphins would love if he did enough to win the Week 1 starting job. If he can’t, Fitzpatrick is the perfect bridge quarterback.

Ryan Fitzpatrick says he is Tua Tagovailoa’s ‘biggest cheerleader’

Ryan Fitzpatrick Dolphins

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s stay as the Miami Dolphins’ starting quarterback will not be lasting much longer, but he does not seem worried. In fact, Fitzpatrick is embracing his role.

Fitzpatrick was a guest on Eric Wood’s “What’s Next” podcast episode that was published on Monday. The two were teammates on the Buffalo Bills, and Fitzpatrick talked with Wood about how he plans to mentor Tagovailoa, who was drafted No. 5 overall by Miami in April.

Fitzpatrick expressed that he has told Tagovailoa he is available to provide advice and mentor him. He called himself Tua’s “biggest cheerleader.”

It’s unclear whether the Dolphins plan to have Tagovailoa start the season, but letting Fitzpatrick begin the year as the starter for a few games might make sense. Tagovailoa is coming off hip surgery and is at a disadvantage given the lack of offseason activity. Fitzpatrick started 15 games for the Dolphins last season and helped them win five games, so he might be good for continuity.

Given his attitude, he will make a perfect mentor for Tua.

5 favorites to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

Joe Burrow

The NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award can be tough to predict. It’s based as much on opportunity as anything else; if you don’t play as a rookie, you’re obviously not going to excel. Add in the uncertainty of predicting how a first-year player will adapt to the league, and it can be a bit of a crapshoot.

Still, we can make some educated guesses based on opportunity and ability. With that in mind, here are our five early favorites for 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

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Tua Tagovailoa has highest-selling jerseys in NFL since draft

Tua Tagovailoa

The top-selling jersey in the NFL since the NFL Draft? It isn’t new Tampa Bay Buccaneers players Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski, nor is it top pick Joe Burrow.

An NFL spokesman announced that Tua Tagovailoa’s Miami Dolphins jerseys are the top two sellers since the draft, according to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN. His aqua home uniform is the top seller over the last two weeks, while the road white version is No. 2.

Four different versions of Brady’s new Buccaneers uniforms occupy spots three through six, while Gronkowski’s jersey is seventh. Burrow’s black Bengals home uniform follows at No. 8.

If nothing else, the Dolphins have hit on a marketable star. Tagovailoa is clearly popular across the entire league, and he may not even be a year one starter. He’s also going to be a very wealthy young man.

Dolphins officially sign Tua Tagovailoa to rookie deal

Tua Tagovailoa

It’s a done deal: Tua Tagovailoa has signed his rookie deal with the Miami Dolphins.

Tagovailoa has officially signed, according to various reports, and gets a $19.6 million signing bonus that is fully guaranteed.

While a formality, everyone will be happy to see this sorted out. The rookie quarterback is expected to compete for the starting job in Miami with veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.

We already knew what jersey number Tagovailoa will wear, and it won’t be that of one of the most legendary quarterbacks in league history.

Tua Tagovailoa will not wear Dan Marino’s number with Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa will be carving out his own path with the Miami Dolphins.

Tagovailoa wore jersey No. 13 while in college at Alabama. That was Dan Marino’s number with the Dolphins, which led many to wonder whether Tua would make a switch. We have learned that he will.

The Dolphins on Tuesday shared the uniform numbers of their new players. Tagovailoa will be wearing No. 1.

Marino is regarded as the last true franchise quarterback for the Dolphins, and his career ended after the 1999 season. His No. 13 was retired by the team. Miami has waited over two decades for another star quarterback. The pressure is already on Tua, so there was no reason for him to add even more pressure by matching the Hall of Famer’s number.

Marino made the Pro Bowl nine times, won an MVP, led the NFL in passing yards five times and touchdowns three times. If Tua can come anywhere close to matching that, the fans should be more than satisfied.

Chargers were prepared to draft Tua Tagovailoa at No. 6

Tua Tagovailoa

It appears that chatter about Tua Tagovailoa falling out of the top half of the NFL Draft may have been overblown.

The Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers both went quarterback at No. 5 and 6 of the NFL Draft, with the Dolphins making Tagovailoa the selection. Chargers general manager Tom Telesco confirmed Tuesday that had Miami gone with Justin Herbert instead, Los Angeles would have happily selected Tagovailoa.

Instead, the Chargers get Herbert, and they’re quite happy about it. He’ll compete for the starting job going forward.

There was talk that Tagovailoa could drop out of the top 15 and really go into freefall if he made it past No. 6. Perhaps that was true, but based on this, it seems that there was never any real danger of the quarterback getting past the Chargers even if the Dolphins passed on him.

Brian Flores: Tua Tagovailoa’s virtual pro day was ‘important’

Tua Tagovailoa

How much did Tua Tagovailoa’s virtual pro day help the Miami Dolphins decide to draft him?

According to coach Brian Flores, it was an “important” factor in the team’s decision-making process.

“I mean, it was important,” Flores said, via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk. “I remember it came out, Chris [Grier] sent it to me, and we were pretty much watching it at the same time. Got on the phone after that and said you know looked pretty good, so it kind of just reinforced or confirmed some of the things that our doctors had mentioned to us. It was important. It was good to see it. He looked good in the tape, but obviously you know that is nine minutes. That is very different from having a two-hour practice or playing in a game so, but I thought he looks good for where he was and you know where he was, where he was when he initially got the injury and where he was at that point.”

The big issue was Tagovailoa’s health after his hip injury. By all accounts, he’s in good shape. Seeing him throw and be mobile — even on video — had to be at least slightly reassuring from the Dolphins’ perspective.