The Miami Dolphins have a QB decision to make, which could affect the New York Jets
Has another spoiler team entered the veteran quarterback market in competition with the New York Jets?
In yet another potential plot twist for the offseason QB drama, the uncertainty about Tua Tagovailoa’s long-term NFL future has caused speculation that the Miami Dolphins could be in the market for a veteran signal-caller.
Head coach Mike McDaniel did nothing to quiet those rumors with his noncommittal response about picking up Tua’s fifth-year option.
Mike McDaniel on Tua, his future, and the 5th year option pic.twitter.com/iLstw6KHwa
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) February 28, 2023
The deadline for teams to make a decision on the fifth-year option is May 1, so there is no specific reason for a team to make a commitment right now. Still, for a player coming off an MVP-caliber season until he was beset by concussion issues, it’s surprising for there to be so many questions about that option.
For the Jets, it makes perfect sense to be noncommittal about the fifth-year option for Mekhi Becton. Becton has barely played over the last two seasons after sustaining back-to-back severe knee injuries.
Tua’s concussion issues have raised questions about his long-term durability, but he also played at a very high level when he was on the field throughout 2022.
As of now, Tua seems committed to returning to the NFL next season. However, the Dolphins are clearly unsure about his future.
Miami did not exactly give their third-year QB a ringing endorsement last offseason when they engaged heavily in the Deshaun Watson market and illegally tampered with Tom Brady.
Now, it appears that the Dolphins still don’t fully believe in Tua. And that could mean they’ll be looking to add a veteran quarterback.
Aaron Rodgers was one name floated out on the rumor mill. Miami certainly has a lot of what Rodgers would want in a new team: a high-flying offense, a lot of superstar power, and a top-line receiving duo.
However, they are also severely cap-strapped this offseason, as they are currently $16.4 million in the red, per Over the Cap. They have $107 million in 2023 cap committed to just five players—Tyreek Hill ($31.5 million), Bradley Chubb ($22.2 million), Terron Armstead ($21.1 million), Byron Jones ($18.4 million), and Emmanuel Ogbah ($17.2 million).
All but Jones are critical parts of the team and not cuttable. Jones may be released with a post-June 1 designation, which would save Miami $13.6 million in 2023 with $4.8 million in dead cap.
Jones said just this week that he can no longer run or jump and attributed it both to injuries and the pills and injections provided by NFL doctors, which means he may also retire.
Miami seems committed to going all-in on this team, though, so they can pull a Saints and Rams and find a way to clear cap space for another QB if they decide to go that route.
For a potential Rodgers deal, there is also the matter of possible return. Miami is without a first-round pick in the 2023 draft due to their Brady tampering scandal and trade for Chubb. They have just five total picks.
They do have their first- and second-rounders from 2024 to work with, as well as a second-rounder and two third-rounders from this season. Still, it will be hard for the Dolphins to shore up their offensive line and secondary if they give up more picks.
Derek Carr is another option, although there hasn’t been any indication that Carr talked to the Dolphins thus far. Still, he is expected to meet with other teams besides the reported Jets, Saints, and Panthers, so Miami could always be another visit at the Combine.
Jets fans started breathing a little more easily with the news that the Raiders appear out on Rodgers and the Titans seem intent on keeping Ryan Tannehill. However, each time one team leaves the mix, another enters.
Stay tuned for the next episode of The QB Files.