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Tua Tagovailoa Has to Deliver After Tyreek Hill Trade

Ryan Phillips
Tua Tagovailoa, New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
Tua Tagovailoa, New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins / Mark Brown/GettyImages
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The Miami Dolphins are building around young quarterback Tua Tagovailoa this offseason. The former first-rounder has struggled so far during his NFL career, but will have no excuses in 2022. After the blockbuster trade for Tyreek Hill, Tagovailoa has to deliver this season or the Dolphins will almost certainly be looking for another quarterback.

This week, the Dolphins acquired Hill in exchange for a first-round pick in 2022, plus a second-rounder, two fourths and a sixth-rounder in 2023. Then they signed him to a four-year, $120 million extension with $72.2 million guaranteed. He's now the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. The move was solely designed to help Miami's young quarterback thrive.

The addition of Hill gives Tagovailoa a game-breaking wideout to pair with Jaylen Waddle, who had a breakout rookie campaign in 2021. Add in Mike Gesicki, recently-signed blindside protector Terron Armstead and an offense run by head coach Mike McDaniel and Tua is set up for success. It's all on him to perform.

In 2022, Tagovailoa played in 13 games and completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 2,653 yards. He averaged 6.8 yards per attempt and had 16 touchdowns against 10 interceptions, while posting a passer rating of 90.1 and a QBR of 49.7. Other than his accuracy, none of those numbers will blow anyone away, but it represented progress across the board after a dismal rookie season. Incremental improvement is great, but Tagovailoa needs to take a leap in his third season. He also needs to stay healthy and start all 17 games.

If Tagovailoa doesn't take advantage of the weapons at his disposal the Dolphins will go find someone who can.

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