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Dolphins' Tyreek Hill: This Is Tua Tagovailoa's Last Year to Prove Himself

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 9, 2022

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill believes the 2022 season will be a make-or-break year for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Speaking Friday on his It Needed to Be Said YouTube show (h/t ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio), Hill gave his take on Tua and why he needs to take the next step this season:

"You know, in the NFL they only give you like two or three years to be a successful quarterback, especially if you're a first-round draft pick. And if you don't succeed after those years, then it's kick rocks, man. So, basically, they're going to put Tua into that. So this is basically his last year, man, just to show people what he's got."

Tagovailoa is about to enter his third NFL season, and while he has shown flashes, he hasn't led the Dolphins to the playoffs, nor as he firmly established himself as a franchise signal-caller.

Miami used the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft to take Tagovailoa after he enjoyed an excellent collegiate career at Alabama, although he had some injury concerns entering the league after suffering ankle and hip injuries.

Tua split time as the starter as a rookie with veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, completing 64.1 percent of his passes for 1,814 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. Tagovailoa went 6-3 as a starter, but he and the Dolphins got crushed in a Week 17 win-and-in playoff scenario by a Buffalo Bills team that had already clinched the AFC East.

Tagovailoa missed four games because of injury last season, but in the 13 games he played in, the Dolphins went 7-5, and he completed 67.8 percent of his attempts for 2,653 yards, 16 touchdowns and 10 picks.

The Dolphins were heavily rumored to be checking in on quarterback Deshaun Watson until the Houston Texans traded him to the Cleveland Browns, and Miami ultimately decided to stick with Tua for 2022.

In an effort to give Tagovailoa the best possible opportunity to succeed, the Dolphins brought in running backs Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert and Sony Michel, plus wide receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr. and offensive tackle Terron Armstead, but the crown jewel of the offseason was Hill.

Miami acquired Hill from the Kansas City Chiefs after Hill earned six Pro Bowl nods, three first-team All-Pro selections and one Super Bowl win in six seasons with the Chiefs.

Hill is one of the most dynamic wide receivers in the NFL, and he rounds out a Dolphins skill-position group that includes the aforementioned players, as well as wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, tight end Mike Gesicki and running back Myles Gaskin.

Hill previously played with one of the NFL's top quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes during his time in Kansas City, so most would consider Tagovailoa a major downgrade.

He has been nothing but complimentary of Tagovailoa, though, even calling him more accurate than Mahomes.

Now it is up to Tua to prove it, and if he isn't able to in 2022 with the collection of talent general manager Chris Grier has put around him, Tagovailoa's days in Miami may be numbered.

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