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NFL exec suggests Dolphins should trade QB Tua Tagovailoa, sign a veteran

The Miami Dolphins are coming off of an 11-6 season that saw them knocked out of the playoffs after just one game for the second year in a row.

Now, head coach Mike McDaniel and company have a decision to make at quarterback with Tua Tagovailoa entering the final season of his rookie deal – a fifth-year option worth $23.17 million.

While the Dolphins have a number of options to proceed with Tagovailoa, The Athletic’s Mike Sando provided one that hasn’t been discussed much – training him.

In Sando’s column, he lays out three choices Miami could make with Tagovailoa which include allowing the quarterback to play out his fifth-year option or extending him now. However, the most palatable idea in Sando’s mind is for the Dolphins to trade Tagovailoa and sign Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, who is set to be a free agent in March.

“Your upside with Tua certainly seems limited,” an exec told Sando. “So, let’s say you can trade him. I would be exploring, ‘OK, Tua, we can win games with, probably not winning a championship with. Kirk Cousins, we can win games with, probably not winning a championship with. But our resources are better spent on Cousins plus draft picks than they are on just Tua.”

Tagovailoa is coming off the best season in his career where he led the league in passing yards and set career highs in yards, touchdowns and completion percentage while playing in 17 games for the first time since entering the NFL.

“If you like Cousins and you can sign him to a three- or four-year deal and you can trade Tua for a couple of draft picks, that to me is a different type of path forward,” the same exec told Sando. “I don’t know if it is the best one. You really have to be in that building to know, but if you are looking for alternatives, there is a pretty good one.”

Cousins will be 36 when the 2024 NFL season begins, and he’s coming off a torn Achilles that has been a career-ending injury for a lot of players in the past. Betting on the veteran, who does have experience in the McDaniel-Kyle Shanahan system, to stay healthy and be as effective as he has been into his late 30s or early 40s is a high-risk proposition.

At this point, it seems like too much of a gamble, and if the reports of Cousins looking for $90 million guaranteed over the next two years are to be believed, the Dolphins might be better off sticking the year out and seeing what Tagovailoa can do in his third season in the offense.

Story originally appeared on Dolphins Wire