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Tua Tagovailoa

Contract talks ongoing

Tua Tagovailoa needs a new contract. He's heading into the fifth, option year of his rookie deal, and more often than not teams secure successful quarterbacks to extensions before they play that season out. But it's understandable that there might be differing opinions on his value.

At the start of his career, he seemed just OK; a game-manager type, perhaps. Then in 2022 (coinciding with the arrival of Tyreek Hill) he had his best season, while also suffering multiple concussions that looked like they might derail his career.

So the Dolphins have that to think about before signing him to the type of monster deal that Trevor Lawrence just signed, and they also have 2023 to consider. Tagovailoa had a big first half of the season, but his second half wasn't close to being as good.

The table below shows all quarterbacks to start at least 5 games the second half of last season, and how much better (or worse) they were than the first half of the year. This being a fantasy site, that percent increase or decrease is based on fantasy points -- 4-point TD passes, 6-point TD runs, 1 point for every 10 rushing or 20 passing yards.

First column show fantasy points per game for those quarterbacks the first half of the season, and then their stats in the second half, and is sorted by percent increase or decrease. On that basis, Tagovailoa's production declined by 22 percent the second of the season, during which Miami stumbled. The only quarterbacks who declined by more were youngsters: Sam Howell and Bryce Young.

QUARTERBACKS, 1ST HALF VERSUS 2ND HALF, 2023
PlayerPts (1st)StPassTD RunTD Pts (2nd)Imp?
Geno Smith, Sea.16.77182211102121.931%
Matthew Stafford, LAR18.07189516-3022.625%
Dak Prescott, Dall.21.39250523124126.625%
Trevor Lawrence, Jac.19.38208112123423.823%
Jordan Love, G.B.20.9924392076224.618%
Lamar Jackson, Balt.23.17172415381026.615%
Derek Carr, N.O.16.7817571517018.913%
Aidan O'Connell, L.V.14.381696118016.213%
Brock Purdy, S.F.21.5822471937024.011%
Baker Mayfield, T.B.19.7921791641120.33%
Russell Wilson, Den.20.67145710140321.33%
Jared Goff, Det.21.392401188021.93%
Desmond Ridder, Atl.17.951079643118.11%
Josh Allen, Buff.28.58188311291927.9-2%
Justin Fields, Chi.22.3713615420321.2-5%
C.J. Stroud, Hou.23.271838989221.3-8%
Justin Herbert, LAC22.9511087130019.3-16%
Patrick Mahomes, K.C.24.07174110131020.0-17%
Jalen Hurts, Phil.27.9815118289823.1-17%
Gardner Minshew, Ind.20.881778755116.6-21%
Tua Tagovailoa, Mia.23.3820151041018.1-22%
Sam Howell, Was.22.6814757106417.3-23%
Bryce Young, Car.16.4915023136011.4-30%

I think Miami will ultimately work something out with Tagovailoa, something less than what Lawrence signed for, but numbers that will still be quite large. Quarterbacks are tough to come by, and teams that let theirs leave typically spend the next few years (and several swings and misses) trying to find one.

But between the concussion history and the reality that Tagovailoa hasn't really knocked it out of the park, I think he'll come at a discount. He benefits a lot from working with Tyreek (who, recall, was hurt the second half of last year). I think Miami will probably him, but it's not a given. And if they do, they'll be looking to get him a little cheaper than what other top quarterbacks are getting.

--Andy Richardson

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