The Miami Dolphins drafted Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and he was anointed the team’s starter midway through the campaign. As a rookie, Tua struggled at times this season and was pulled in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick on two different occasions. Now, there are reports that some of the Dolphins coaches and players were unimpressed with his first year in the NFL.
The best football betting sites have released odds for whether Tua will kick off the 2021 season with the Miami Dolphins. According to Bovada, Tagovailoa has -500 odds to begin next year with the Dolphins, while playing for any other team is listed at +300.
Will Tua Be Back In Miami?
|Any Other Team||+300|
Odds as of January 15 at Bovada
Tua Tagovailoa’s Time in Miami
Two seasons ago, there were plenty of “Tank for Tua” signs in Miami. Dolphins fans rejoiced when he fell to the team at fifth overall, thinking they had landed their quarterback of the future. Tua went 6-3 as a starter this year and the Dolphins nearly made the playoffs with a 10-6 record. He completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,814 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Struggles as a Rookie
There is no question that Tagovailoa struggled throughout his rookie campaign. He did show signs of promise and progress in games against the Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs, but also looked very shaky against the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders. Head coach Brian Flores said the reasoning for pulling Tua in those games was because he felt that Fitzpatrick gave them a better chance to win.
Trade Rumors Involve Watson
There are two reasons that these odds even exist in the first place. The first is that there are rumors that Houston might look to flip their disgruntled star quarterback Deshaun Watson for Tagovailoa, which is something the Dolphins would really consider. The other reason is that Miami holds Houston’s first-round pick this year, which just so happens to be the third overall selection.
While Trevor Lawrence is most likely going to Jacksonville with the first overall pick, there is a strong chance that the New York Jets pass up on taking a quarterback at No. 2, which would leave Justin Fields and Mac Jones available to the Dolphins.
Rookie Quarterback Struggles Aren’t New
Tua’s not the first quarterback to struggle in his rookie campaign. Peyton Manning led the league in interceptions in his first season. Troy Aikman has zero wins and 11 losses in his first year, and John Elway threw twice as many interceptions as touchdowns. All three of these quarterbacks went on to win multiple Super Bowls, so it’s not fair to judge a quarterback on one season. It’s also important to remember that Tagovailoa didn’t get a proper offseason and there were no preseason games for the young pivot to get a feel for the speed of the NFL.
Does Tua Have a Future in Miami?
Would the Dolphins move on so quickly from a top quarterback pick, just to take one in 2021? Only time will tell, but the fact that there are even odds for Tua to be moved is a bit of a surprise. I personally think Miami will give him another year or two before making a decision. With some more support from a standout wide receiver like Heisman winner DeVonta Smith on the outside, Tua could be in for a much better year ahead.
When you think of the weapons that the quarterback had to work with this season, it wasn’t comparable to the high-octane Alabama offense that Tua led in college. His top rusher this year was Myles Gaskin with just 584 yards, and the Dolphins’ top wideout DeVante Parker was injured on and off through the year.
If the Dolphins can give him another weapon or two in the offseason, Tua will have more of an opportunity to become the type of quarterback that people expect out of him.