Dolphins yet to make call on Tua Tagovailoa's 5th-year option

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Miami Dolphins have not made a decision on whether to pick up quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's fifth-year option, coach Mike McDaniel said Tuesday.

Speaking at the NFL scouting combine, McDaniel said he and general manager Chris Grier are still discussing the option leading up to the May 1 deadline. Tagovailoa is entering the final guaranteed season of his rookie deal and has an option for $23.2 million in 2024.

"Like any other player, you factor in every variable," McDaniel said. "I think it's important to recognize we have a congruence of interests by the Dolphins and the player, Tua, that we both want him to play at a very high level for a long time for the Miami Dolphins."

Grier echoed McDaniel while speaking to local media from the combine Wednesday, reiterating the Dolphins' sentiment throughout the offseason: that Tagovailoa will be their quarterback in 2023 and that the plan is for him to be the starter for the foreseeable future.

The general manager added that Tagovailoa's injury history will not deter the Dolphins from signing him to a long-term deal.

"It's not something that's gonna make us afraid to do something long term with him," Grier said. "He's been banged up, but he always comes back and bounces back and plays hard. Excited for his future, watching him do all the work he's been doing in the offseason to prepare for 2023."

Tagovailoa set career highs in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage and passer rating last season, leading the NFL in the final category. He also missed five games, including the Dolphins' playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills, with two concussions.

He enters the fourth year of his rookie contract to equal parts optimism after a standout season and skepticism regarding his durability; Tagovailoa also missed four games in 2021 with various injuries.

"We're probably best served to utilize the time [until the deadline]," McDaniel said. "That's kind of the way we're approaching it, but that doesn't mean that we're spending any long period of time not discussing it. This is something that Chris and I have been working through."

McDaniel also did not close the door on tight end Mike Gesicki returning to the Dolphins in 2023.

The unrestricted free agent's receiving yards and receptions in 2022 were the lowest since his rookie year as he took a back seat to Durham Smythe, with Gesicki playing on the franchise tag after he and the Dolphins were unable to reach an agreement on a long-term contract last offseason.

"There's always a spot for good players. Mike has earned the opportunity to test the market," McDaniel said. "We very much encourage that but are not in the business of turning down good players."