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Despite Tua Tagovailoa’s status as starter, Dolphins reportedly will explore “all options” at QB

Mike Florio and Chris Simms map out important considerations for the Dolphins with Tua Tagovailoa’s contract moving forward, including the idea of linking incentives to the number of games played.

The Dolphins can say as often as they want that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is their guy. Until they pick up his guaranteed fifth-year option for 2024 or sign him to a long-term deal, the door remains open for someone else to become the guy.

Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reports that the Dolphins will explore all options at quarterback.

They should. Every team other than the Chiefs, Bills, Bengals, Eagles, and Chargers should, frankly. If a clear upgrade is available, every team has an obligation to explore all strategies for making that change.

For the Dolphins, potentially available upgrades include Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady (if he unretires for the second straight year), and Lamar Jackson, if the Ravens apply the non-exclusive franchise tag -- and if Jackson remains available after the 2023 draft concludes. Because the Dolphins lost their 2023 first-round pick due to tampering with Brady and Sean Payton a year ago, they can’t make a play for Jackson until they once again have two consecutive first-round picks to give. That happens after the 2023 draft.

The Dolphins have plenty of time to decide whether to pick up Tua’s fifth-year option. It gives them time to explore free agency, the draft, and the possibility of making a play for Jackson.

Although the Dolphins are currently saying all the right things about Tua, this is a franchise that wanted to trade for Deshaun Watson in 2021 and tried to land Brady in 2022. Hell, Jimmy Garoppolo has said the Dolphins considered trading for him last year; given what it would have taken to get him from the 49ers and what he was due to be paid, Jimmy G wouldn’t have been QB2 in Miami.

Thus, given that the team consistently has explored all options at quarterback in the past, it’s no surprise that they’ll consider all options at quarterback in the present. And in the future -- until they have one of the quarterbacks who are among the small group that can’t be upgraded.