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Dolphins 'very encouraged' by contract talks with QB Tua Tagovailoa

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa led the NFL in passing yards last season. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- The Miami Dolphins are "very encouraged" about their negotiations with Tua Tagovailoa's agents as they work toward a long-term contract extension, coach Mike McDaniel told reporters Tuesday in Indianapolis.

"I'm very encouraged," McDaniel said at the NFL scouting combine at the Indiana Convention Center. "Both Tua's representation, and our organization, are hard at work.

"Those timelines are impossible to predict. My main concern this off-season has been communicating what Tua needs from his head coach and his offensive coaching staff, which is, what things can we identify to continue the progression of your game, the same way that we have since Day 1."

Tagovailoa enters the off-season on the heels of the best year of his career. The No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft completed a career-best 69.3% of his throws, while totaling a league-high 4,624 passing yards, 29 scores and 14 interceptions in 17 starts.

He is set to play the 2024 campaign fifth-year option of his rookie contract, valued at $23.1 million. Tagovailoa told reporters earlier this month at the Pro Bowl that he believes he will agree to an off-season extension.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa made his first Pro Bowl in 2023-24. File Photo by Jon Robichaud/UPI
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa made his first Pro Bowl in 2023-24. File Photo by Jon Robichaud/UPI

"I'm gonna let my agents, gonna let [general manager] Chris Grier, Mike [McDaniel] and those guys talk about that and let them move forward accordingly," Tagovailoa said.

Grief told reporters in January that it is the Dolphins' "goal" to have Tagovailoa remain with the Dolphins "long term [and] playing at a high level."

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa started 17 games last season. File Photo by Jon Robichaud/UPI
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa started 17 games last season. File Photo by Jon Robichaud/UPI

McDaniel said his belief in Tagovailoa "has always been strong," but it is now stronger than it was the first day he met the quarterback. Several quarterbacks from the same draft class as Tagovailoa received major contract extension last off-season.

Cincinnati Bengals star Joe Burrow, the top pick in 2020, signed a five-year, $275 million pact in September. That deal included $219 million guaranteed. Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert signed a five-year, $262.5 million extension in July. That pact featured $218.7 million guaranteed.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa expects to sign a contract extension this off-season. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa expects to sign a contract extension this off-season. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

The Philadelphia Eagles signed quarterback Jalen Hurts to a five-year, $255 million pact, including $179.3 million guaranteed, in April.