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Tua Tagovailoa: No pressure at all entering final year of contract

The Dolphins offense produced a lot of fireworks over the course of the 2023 season, but they couldn't summon enough of them on a frigid Saturday night in Kansas City.

After wide receiver Tyreek Hill turned a Tua Tagovailoa pass into a 53-yard touchdown to make the score 10-7 in the second quarter, the Dolphins were outscored 16-0 while picking up 141 yards on eight possessions. A Chiefs defense that has been stingy all year deserves a lot of credit for Miami's poor outing, but there will also be questions about Tagovailoa's ability to lead the team where it wants to go.

Those questions will be all the more pointed as Tagovailoa moves into the final year of his contract. The Dolphins picked up his option and the fully guaranteed $23.17 million salary that comes with it, but nothing more is set in stone after a season that saw the Dolphins routinely come up short against their toughest opponents. On Saturday night, Tagovailoa said he's not feeling any additional stress because of the contract situation.

“I don’t feel any pressure at all,” Tagovailoa said, via Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald. “I have full trust in myself. I have full trust in what I’m capable of doing for our organization. Outside of that we’re focusing on tonight and what happened. We’re going to simmer on this and see what we can do to get better from it going into next year.”

An extension would show that the Dolphins are fully committed to a future with Tagovailoa at the helm of the offense. Anything else would set the stage for the quarterback being under the microscope for an entire season.