Dolphins but to make name on Tua Tagovailoa’s fifth-year possibility

INDIANAPOLIS — The Miami Dolphins have not yet made a decision on whether to pick up quarterback Tua Tagovailoa‘s fifth-year option, coach Mike McDaniel said Tuesday.

Speaking at the NFL scouting combine, McDaniel said it’s still something he and general manager Chris Grier are discussing leading up to the May 1 deadline. Tagovailoa is entering the last guaranteed season of his rookie deal and has an option for $23.2 million in 2024.

“Like any other player, you factor in every variable,” McDaniel said. “I think it’s important to recognize we have a congruence of interests by the Dolphins and the player, Tua, that we both want him to play at a very high level for a long time for the Miami Dolphins.”

Tagovailoa set career highs in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage and passer rating last season, leading the NFL in the latter. He also missed five games, including Miami’s playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills, with two concussions.

He enters the fourth year of his rookie contract to equal parts optimism after a standout season and skepticism regarding his durability — Tagovailoa also missed four games in 2021 with various injuries.

“We’re probably best served to utilize the time [until the deadline],” McDaniel said. “That’s kind of the way we’re approaching it, but that doesn’t mean that we’re spending any long period of time not discussing it. This is something that Chris and I have been working through.”

McDaniel also did not close the door on tight end Mike Gesicki returning to the Dolphins in 2023.

The unrestricted free agent’s receiving yards and receptions in 2022 were the lowest since his rookie year as he took a back seat to Durham Smythe, with Gesicki playing on the franchise tag after he and the Dolphins were unable to reach an agreement on a long-term contract last offseason.

“There’s always a spot for good players. Mike has earned the opportunity to test the market,” McDaniel said. “We very much encourage that but are not in the business of turning down good players.”

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