NFL Rumors: Tua Tagovailoa Expected to be Dolphins' QB1 in 2023 amid Injury Rehab

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 15, 2023

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 25: Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins throws a touchdown pass during the first quarter of the game against the Green Bay Packers at Hard Rock Stadium on December 25, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Eric Espada/Getty Images

Tua Tagovailoa will reportedly remain the Miami Dolphins' starting quarterback in the 2023 season.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Dolphins were "pleased" with how Tagovailoa progressed under coach Mike McDaniel and believe the two concussions he suffered during the 2022 season will not present a long-term issue.

It's possible Tagovailoa will be cleared from concussion protocol during these playoffs if the Dolphins advance past their Wild Card matchup against the Buffalo Bills.

Skylar Thompson, the team's third-string quarterback, is set to start Sunday against Buffalo.

Tagovailoa started 13 games during the 2022 regular season, throwing for 3,548 yards and 25 touchdowns against eight interceptions. He played like an MVP candidate over his first nine starts, leading the Dolphins to an 8-1 record before his play dropped off significantly down the stretch.

Over Tagovailoa's final four starts, Miami went 0-4 and Tagovailoa threw five interceptions in just 116 pass attempts. His completion percentage also dropped all the way to 52.6 percent after being at 69.7 percent over his first nine starts.

The Dolphins will not only have to make a decision about Tagovailoa's status for 2023, but also whether to pick up his option for the 2024 season. Should the Dolphins decide to pick up Tagovailoa's option, he will be guaranteed an estimated $22.4 million for 2024. That's a small price to pay for someone who played like the Tagovailoa of his first nine starts, but it could become an albatross salary if his late-season struggles continue when he returns to the lineup.

Miami's previous desire to move on from Tagovailoa will leave the team without a first-round pick in April. The NFL docked the Dolphins their 2023 selection after they were found to have tampered with Tom Brady and Sean Payton while they were under contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints, respectively.